Friday, September 04, 2009

Confessions of a Paper Lover

"You can't fake authenticity." Verna Allee's prophetic words on social vs. value networks 3 years ago

Recalling the Native American tradition of giving thanks for animals who gave their lives to be a meal -- I'm ready to start doing the same for the trees that produced my main source of sustenance. Yes I consume paper and cannot live without it. I want to be green and save trees. Yes the virtual world works in many ways (e.g., right now -- writing this confession to paper addiction). But cannot imagine ever replacing paper for:

Writing on the Walls: I work on 4 foot by 8 foot (or looooonger) sheets of paper on the walls, weaving words and images to help people at meetings see how their ideas fit together. Yes, there are tree-saving alternatives: Erasable white boards, tablet PCs, even mini e-drawing tablets with mock pastels. But for me the magic seems to be in the paper. I have to touch it with my hands, spread pastels with my fingers, and hear the squeak of the marker on the paper. Awaiting the electronic solution that will leave my hands and conscience clean.

Binders: For every book and research project, I create binders with print-outs of writing -- yes, paper, paper, paper. The thicker they are, the more I feel I've accomplished. The final publication is usually a slim volume, but the binders behind it let me feel the weight of the work behind it. I understand the new Microsoft table shows the "layers" of work, but will it be the same if you can't feel how heavy it is?

Then of course there are books, newspapers, letters, postcards....I could write more but am running out of ideas and must return to my notebook and pen.

No comments: