Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eighth Annual California Wildflower Show poster

This is a poster from 1977, which I look at every day, in my spare room. As you all know, I love flowers, and I find the mandala of flowers to be very calming, comforting and centering.

I don't know who made the poster. There is no credit. Down in the lower right-hand corner, it has a logo of a waterfall that says (upon close inspection) "Conserve Water"... but that's it.

The California Wildflower Show is still happening every year at the Oakland museum, now in its 40th year. We have the internet now and no need for mad-postering all over town, which was one way some of us picked up a few bucks.

I often wonder who designed the lovely poster that is part of my daily life, and if they even remember making it.

We forget the tasks we perform, the creative projects we are part of, the various things we make, craft and write. As I approach my 52nd year, I am stunned by all I have done, and yet I also worry it will all be forgotten. As I search online for old photos of pop-culture events and political demonstrations, I have a hard time finding them. So much of history, before the net, is simply forgotten. And now, with the advent of the net, we are threatened with a veritable deluge of ephemera and drivel, drowning out the important news, the crucial history.

I find myself deliberating about this stuff more and more as I age, particularly when I blog about the past.

And then, I see the poster.

The person who made this poster probably does not remember making it, or perhaps only thinks of it now and then... but it is part of my daily life. Their consciousness, their artistic vision and work, is part of my home.

What have I done, what have I said, that is now part of someone else's daily life? And I would never know it. A photo, a gift, a kind word, a wrong word? Maybe something I wrote a long time ago and cannot even recall now. Maybe a comment in an AA meeting that I addressed to them, or something I wrote in an online debate.

The poster reminds me that there is so much we leave behind. Beauty AND ugliness.

It is a good reason to remember, always, the line from Plato: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Or as Bill and Ted said: Be excellent to each other.

(And as always, keep making pretty things. Preferably with flowers.)


JoJo said...

So true Daisy, so true. Unfortunately, we never really find out how much we've touched someone's life b/c the outpouring of memories doesn't usually happen till AFTER we die. lol

Before my dismissal from Facistbook, I was back in touch w/ the girl who used to babysit for me. I got teary eyed when she told me a story about how one time, my parents had to cancel their evening plans, but my dad went to her house and gave her the $5 she would have made, b/c he felt bad about canceling last minute. She said he knew how much she needed the money and in the early 70's, $5 went a long way. That's the way my dad was. I wish I could have shared that story with him.

sheila said...

I feel like giving you a big ol groovy hug. :)

This was a wonderful post! Aside from the questions that it raises in everyone who reads it...I think it would be 'most excellent' if the artist saw this on your site and contacted you. That would make my day!

John Powers said...

It is good to remember!

Seeing this poster reminded me of posters for the Craftsman's Guild's annual A Fair in the Park here in Pittsburgh, now in it's 40th year. A few of my friends were smart enough to snatch and keep some of the posters from the early years. Who is the artist? I'm so bad with names, search is nice.

Mary Hamilton, I was expecting to find a Web site, Twitter and Facebook contacts, I guess it's not for everyone. I loved the posters because my mother had a genius for introducing her kids to time consuming activities and linoleum block prints were something she showed me how to do.

The story of Lorraine Schneider and her etching "War is not healthy" is worthwhile to.

In this digital age when it so easy to steal stuff, at least we should attribute work. Memory is essential; we truncate memory when we don't offer attribution to work that's meaningful to us.

kikipotamus said...

Very true. Be excellent to each other. And make pretty things. With flowers. Those are words to live by, indeed.

YogaforCynics said...

Cool poster...trippily ecological...or ecologically trippy...cool to walk past every day, certainly.... I've been surprised a few times to find some off-hand comment end up having a powerful impact on somebody's life...while my conscious attempts to change the world generally haven't amounted to much...I really need to write a blog post about this myself...