In this modern era of Peace Corps we are all very Posh Corps compared to our ancient volunteer ancestors, so really I have no right to get whiny about my kindle being broken. However this kindle was surprisingly sentimental to me.
This morning I got up and went to my chair to boot up my computer and be a bum until I got my morning Roti and Tea. And as soon as I planted my butt on the chair I heard a crreeunch. “What the hell?” I thought. I stood up and realized I had sat on my original e-ink Kindle. I didn’t think much of it since it was in a case, but when I tried to turn it on later to continue reading “Android Karenina” (Not a typo) I realized I had crunched the screen and the e-ink part was busted. Parts of the screen were permanently frozen on some screensaver that vaguely represented dandy English gentlemen with a quill in his hand. That man is now permanently emblazoned on the screen. Taunting me with his little smirk and quill, as if to say “See if I let you read anymore. I OWN you now lady”.
While the loss of an electronic gadget is a bummer, it had a long battery, easy on the eyes; hundreds of books now that I have to reload to my Kindle fire and take up all the space with, the real bummer is that I really loved that little machine for a few simple reasons.
Purists insist that a tangible book with pages and that old lady book smell are the only way to truly enjoy a book, and that is such pretentious hipster crap. I was READING. I was reading in mass. I had so much access to all sorts of books I never would have read. I re-read favorites. I have already read 22 books while in my Peace Corps Service. Not all were great, but when you have fewer forms of distraction and entertainment a good book is really amazing.
But really I remember a Christmas before my dad died in which he gave me a kindle skin to put over it. Weirdest thing to get sentimental about right? But the skin was a painting done by Monet, The Gardens of Giverny. Despite the fact Santa Clause signed all our gifts at Christmas I was pretty sure Mom was the principle gift buyer in the house. Because usually I got something I really enjoyed. I always knew when dad gave me a gift because I never understood it. He was always about practical gifts and he always tried to buy me fancy gifts. For example one year when I was still in High School he gave me a chunky fake gold braided bracelet. Something your Jewish Aunt Hilda would wear, if you had a Jewish Aunt Hilda. It was absolutely hideous, but of course now I covet it and brought it with me too Nepal. Where, thankfully, chunky fake gold bracelets blend right in.
When I saw the picture he picked out for me though I knew he had no way of knowing but I loved Monet paintings. Ok, sure, everyone claims to like Monet, he is a pretty well-known painter; it’s like liking Da Vinci or Picasso, mostly because you just can’t remember any other painters. I remember going to the Art Museum in Chicago with my mom when I was in college and seeing Monet’s Japanese bridge and haystack paintings and just being completely moved. It was like looking at someone’s dream. And I think very subconsciously its part of what fueled my desire to go into Agriculture. I think I really saw how beautiful the world was through those paintings.
And that’s almost exactly what my dad said to me, in his unsentimental way when he gave it to me at the first Christmas after I started at the U of MN for Horticulture. “I picked this out because I knew you liked plants.” Funny how I remember that, a weird passing thought he had that was really simple, but he thought about it and found me something I liked.
After he died that kindle broke due to NO FAULT OF MY OWN! The charging port stopped working and I had to get a replacement. And I painstakingly peeled the skin off the old kindle, tearing it multiple times and stretching it out and placed it on the new kindle that I have now sat on. Truthfully it looks like shit, doesn’t line up right or anything, but it’s one of the few presents I am absolutely positive came from him. And now I don’t have use for that kindle anymore. And I so desperately need to repurpose that skin into something else, I need to keep it somehow.
What to do?