By Pierre Bokor Jr.
In this latest guest post on Brush Talk, it is my
great honour to welcome an old friend of mine, Pierre Bokor Jr. Pierre and I were in a great many university drama productions together, including a particularly epic rendition of Eugène Ionesco's La Cantatrice Chauve (The Bald Soprano). He currently languishes in the 'hardship' post of Barcelona where he works as a teacher and translator and has recently launched a superb online project/blog/workshop aimed at helping parents with their kids' education called Inside A Teacher's Mind. You can also see it on the Book of Face here.
Once upon a more miserable time, it was raining and night had come. In a field, awaiting battle, a man sat on a wooden makeshift bench, with a quill in hand. He had a candle to see the paper on which his words and his tears fell and melded into one. The letter finished, he poured a spot of hot wax on the folds, took off his ring, kissed it, and with it, moulded his blazon onto the seal.
He handed it to a messenger and gave the rest of his money to him. The messenger rode through the downpour, forcing his horse through the mud. He kept riding until the sweat of the horse and the rain were one. Together, they rode on through the day, as the sun came up and burned them and scorched their path. The horse’s nostrils bled from the effort, yet they continued on, till they reached the house.
The messenger delivered the letter to the lady’s maid. The maid ran into the field behind the house, to give the letter to the lady. The lady took it, put it to her chest as she let out a sigh that proclaimed the overwhelming joy of receiving a word from her love. She sat down in her chaise and looked up at the sky, wondering if her lover is looking up at that same sky, before opening the letter...
In a much wealthier and more prosperous time, the guy grabbed his iphone out of his pocket. As he stood in line at Starbucks, he tried to decide if he should iMessage, Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Tango, GoogleChat, SMS, or go formal by emailing his babe. “Whatevs! It’s the thought that counts, right?”
He composes and writes “Yo Bae, luvs ya. Havn a good day? U no I missU2. ♥.” He sends and sees a second check mark appear on his screen, as a sense of chivalry and accomplishment passes over him.
The other day, I spoke to a friend about a picture that I saw on Facebook that said “I wonder how long it will be before people don’t remember why we ‘unroll’ the window.” One conversation led to another and I soon told her that I think it’s tragic that mixed tapes no longer exist. I remember making mixed tapes for the girls I was courting. The entire procedure, the thought, the love, the energy, the feelings, everything that went into it. I don’t even know what the equivalent is today. Perhaps, sending my playlist to someone? I really don’t know.
What I do know is that our methods of communicating are getting more and more advanced, faster and more efficient, all the whilst our abilities, our messages, and our depth of commitment to what we communicate is getting smaller, more feeble and ephemeral.
I don’t know if the solution is to be a ‘throwback’ like me, going around writing with a fountain pen and insisting that people learn the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. I do know that change is inevitable, technology will push us to communicate ‘bigger, faster, stronger’, but I believe that we can have the fortitude to fight the ease of laziness and to put a little more thought into every message.