Friday, June 20, 2008

Joe Barry is reading The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng. It is about a boy taught Aikijutsu, the earlier form of Aikido, just before WW II. Joe practiced Aikido almost daily for 20+ years and says he is captivated by the book. He mentions an exchange between the protagonist and his brother as they examine a keris, a traditional Malay blade, and ask:
"Among the creations of our modern world, what do you think will still exist and have historical and aesthetic value five hundred years from now?" (pg 162)
As a simple exercise, look through your own possessions in light of what will be here and useful in 500 years. I think perhaps my sloyd knives might make it. If they need new handles, someone, could use one if kept sharp to carve another. In the meantime, I have been busy researching all day, checking libraries and special collections for available materials. Too much time at the keyboard and computer. Those who are able to combine physical activity with their intellectual pursuits are the lucky ones of the modern world. But perhaps even on the keyboard, what we share with others might last and be passed around in human consciousness for 500 years or more. We will never know.

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