Friday, August 31, 2018

writing has always been a mobile art

While listening to my alarm/radio this morning I heard some 54% of workers commuting in the UK are working; they are answering emails while travelling to and from work. The spin put on this was a suggestion that a working day should incliude the travel time.
Then when browsing my email alerts before even leaving my bed, i follow a link to an article on how writers have always been mobile. The mobility of writing having studied text messaging as an emergent means of counselling prompted my curiouslity as to how come the  mobility of writing is newsworthy.  The shape of things in current times seems to have altered our thinking about things so much that we do not recognise the romantic past as also being one of commuting and writing?
So now this is news?

Surely it shouldn't be news - people stopped writing on cave walls and carving into rock some time ago.
The very purpose of our writing would seem for word to travel - it provides movement through both space and time - at least with bringing whats now to future spaces.
So how come it's now news?
I recall one of the oddities of antiquity my brother has is of a writing box. A sloped box on which to write - an addition to any flat table for the houses of the time without purpose built writing desks. It had a lifting lid for pens, paper, ink bottles. And the top surface also with its now quaint inkwell.
We had plastic pocket liners for our shirts so we could travel with pens. Indeed, we had shirts with bockets that seemed soley designed for the purpose of holding a pen or two and not much else. We had the invention of the roller ball pen so it coud literally write in the different spaces required of modern times. 
Now we have shirts without pockets- the type of pocket not being substantive enough for the tools of modernliteracy- a mobile ph isnt in that pocket. And the pen also becomes less evident.
I'm writing, but there's no ink, no paper -  the physicality of writing changes.
Though i may write of abstract things, writing itself never occurs in the abstract,  but occurs by means of objects—as well as by the involvement of experiences, memory, nostalgia, hopes, and more. Always it is an interaction of things. An internetting of things.

Acknowledgement to Laura R. Micciche  associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati for prompting this little wander into  things we think with.