Jack, age 6, loves the iPad he uses in kindergarten. He already navigates the net to some degree. But when he accompanied his father to the Post Office, he sat quietly on a bench and read something in print while he waited, no electronics available to distract him. Not even Medusa’s Kitchen daily posting.
Jack was caught in the act by his father, Brian, armed with a cell phone, who sent the photo immediately to his grandfather many miles away. The grandfather, as usual, was sitting at his computer, typing away, no print publication nearby to distract him.
The grandfather once sent children’s magazines to Jack but in kindergarten the boy has become electronically mesmerized. Magazines don’t have the same appeal.
His iPad offers action, moving parts, and that understandably appeals to a child who would rather see a giraffe eat from the top of a tree than read about the giraffe doing it in print.
No poetry or fiction at the Post Office, so who knows what caught Jack’s attention, but there are words among the graphics he’s looking at on paper rather than on a screen.
The grandfather from infancy on was suckled on print but now in his dotage he takes nourishment at a computer.
So who is he to worry about Jack not reading newspapers and magazines. The boy's only 6.
Times change, the grandfather must remember, and generations must adjust.
He once read four newspapers a day in Chicago. Now he reads the one newspaper published in St. Louis.
Print publications may be terminal.
At the Post Office, however, as young Jack discovered, print is still breathing.
—Donal Mahoney, Belleville, IL
Those tender words we said to one another
—Rumi, 11th Century
Thanks to Donal Mahoney (and his son and grandson) for today’s photo and poem-story, and to Loch Henson of Diamond Springs, CA for the beautiful Rumi quote. Donal lives in Belleville, Illinois, but still reads the St. Louis newspaper. He says the sports scores and obituaries are invariably accurate.
As for her on-going health issues (see last Monday’s post), Loch sends this “to LM”:
"THE Reality" is
I know I am not well. Which
means you need care, too.
And our thoughts go to Sacramento Poet Theresa McCourt, who is in the hospital due to an accident which happened to her while she was running. For details, see www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article147367449.html/.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back