Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Fragility of Ephemera

I've been talking about paper here for almost TWO years now - next month will mark the anniversary.  We've expounded on all sorts of topics.  But one that I never really thought of until now is how fleeting  paper really is.

I've always marveled at how paper survives!  Considering the myriad ways it can be destroyed - water, fire, air, smoke, mold, time - we sure take it for granted.  If you want to know why I get so excited about discovering an invoice from 1898, it's because it survived.  Against overwhelming odds, it's still here!

As I write this, firefighters are cleaning up after an early morning blaze that hit our downtown.  The fire occurred at the building two doors down from Gallery & Frame Shop, one of my favorite shops in the whole city.  Julie, the owner, is an asset to our downtown - she was instrumental in getting our Tour the Town gallery walk started.  This wonderful place also houses most of Brian's and my artwork.

At this point, Brian and I honestly don't care about whether or not our artwork is okay - there are so many other factors that are far more important right now, like the safety and health of my friends.  But it brought to mind how quickly old paper, and its history, can be taken from us.

One can use vintage ephemera for something far greater - life.  Not to get too maudlin, but let's face it - NONE of us knows how much time we have on this planet.  And some of the same things that damage old paper are the same things that can do us in - water, fire, smoke - and time.  Our time here is also fleeting. Yet we sure take it for granted.

I've always marveled at how we survive!  Considering the myriad ways we can be destroyed, most of us will be here tomorrow.  When something like a fire threatens our survival, it's a scary prospect.  We stop and think how ephemeral our lives really are.  I think the Youngbloods sang it best:  "We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass."  Against all the odds, we're still here!  Let's make the most of the time we have.

Please send all your good vibes and thoughts today to the folks affected by this fire, and send a prayer to the person who was injured in the blaze.


  1. Good post Mel! So true about the fragility of both ephemera and life! Our time here is indeed precious and we should cherish it and live life to the fullest!