I continue to think about the Notary Public idea, though I don’t believe it will accomplish what I want. It wouldn’t be bad to be a notary, but it’s not likely my name will go down in history that way. That tangible thing I crave wouldn’t materialize.
At work, I touch the archive paper. It has a nice texture, a definite tooth in its surface. The scraps that they have after they print our amendments get distributed. We use those scraps to manually print amendments, as well as use it as scratch paper. When I touch the paper, I really want to write on it. I don’t know what I want to write, but I long to sit and put a nice pen to that paper and feel the tip stroke across the surface. I want to look at my handwriting on it. That would be tangible. That has potential to stay around. Surely something written on this paper would be worth saving.
My friends are artists. Barry makes jewelry, sculpted with gold and silver. Glo has beautiful bronzes with social and cultural importance, as well as small ceramic pigeons. In our house ceramic bowls, plates and platters fill the space to overflowing, along with coffee cups and hand-blown drinking glasses. That is a mark left on the world. Those tangible items will be around forever. People 100 years from now will look at a collection of Barry’s sculptured jewelry and wonder about the artisan that made them. Some of his pieces have an Asian feel, others look vaguely African, with horse hair incorporated. All of them have his signature style that really ties the whole collection together. His work is all over the U.S. and beyond.
Our friend, Richella - may she rest in peace - still lives through her tiny raku pots, even while the last of her brood of cats grows old, sleeping on our dining room table eleven years after Richella passed away. Richella’s art has been collected all over the United States and other parts of the world. Her goal was to be in a show at the Smithsonian. After she mastered the technical aspect of pottery, she judged her craftsmanship and her designs based on whether they could be accepted at the Smithsonian. Not a bad aspiration, and she would have made it had she continued to live and produce work.
A Greek potter a few centuries before the common era (BCE or BC?) would have thought they were hot stuff because one of their decorated pots would cost a day’s wages.¹ Imagine if they had known that 2000 years later their work would be sold for over $100K and be on display as an historic artifact. That person, whoever they are, has truly left a their mark on the world, even if we don’t know their name.
Mark Cartwright, "Ancient Greek Potter," Ancient History Encyclopedia, March 16, 2018, https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Pottery/.