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// Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sticks and Strokes [image and short story]

Sticks and Strokes (c) 2011 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved. insilentpassage.com
 
Sticks and Strokes (Companion Vignette)

-Place: A cathedral-like atrium in a metropolis
-Players: Two unlikely friends, sitting on a stone bench
-Proximity: An indoor harmony stream
-Time: Lunch hour
-Topic: Same old, same old

        "Don't be absurd," said the futurist to the calligraphist, in a tone and manner that was as smug as smug could be. "Penmanship, print, and paper are all dead. You're living in the past. You are the past. I've got thousands of books in the palm of my hand; barely a finger tap away. Plus, I can download more whenever I want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I'm a library incarnate! Ha and ha! And I don't have to sacrifice precious living space to be that library. There are no dusty, musty smells to deal with. No overpriced first editions or 'special' editions. The way it should be."

        With a deep and dramatic sigh, the calligraphist replied to the futurist, "Your bits and bytes are transient at best—cached today, deleted tomorrow. You're living on borrowed time, my data hording friend. Hard drives are nothing more than anchors and arrogance; landfill waiting to happen. Books, however, are individual things of beauty, to be admired and held, and given a place of honor upon the shelves of our hearts, minds, and homes. What you fail to grasp is that a book—a real, physical book—is a commitment, not just to yourself, but to the art of writing, and to the adventure that is reading. Every book has a familiar-yet-distinct form, a wonderful weight, and a strong spine, unlike the apparitions haunting your little virtual world."

        "Hmph!" grunted the technologist and returned to the pages of his smartphone.

        "Hmph!" grunted the calligraphist and returned to the pages of his book.

        And for the remainder of their lunch, neither said a word to the other, nor heard the flow of the harmony stream.

 
About

The vignette started off as an artsy "about" for the image, but then took on a life of its own.

The symbol at the center of the image looks like a sinograph, but isn't.

"Sticks and Strokes" captures the essence of the image, is an allusion to "sticks and stones may break my bones," which plays into the vignette, and is both a digital and organic reference (brush strokes, key strokes, mental strokes).

Soundtrack

If the image had a soundtrack, then it would contain the following Steve Vai tracks:
  • "Whispering a Prayer," Alive in an Ultra World
  • "Brandos Costumes (Gentle Ways)," Alive in an Ultra World
  • "The Bodhi Tree," VaiTunes #7

© Copyright 2011 Christopher V. DeRobertis. All rights reserved.

This text composition is a work of fiction. Names, places, institutions, events, incidents, characters, persons, locations, and/or organizations either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Full Creative Writing Disclaimer.