Handmade Paper Time Travel
I am sitting in a room poring over a unique book begun in 1814 and finished in 1848. It is a record of every letter written by the man who oversaw the Luxembourg Gardens. The paper for this tome was made by hand prior to 1814. The impeccable penmanship varies over time as the years progress and a new scribe takes the position of recording the outgoing correspondence. Often what is recorded is how much someone was paid and the act of paying. It provides the day to day record, not in the form of a ledger or balance sheet, but in regards to official communication between one person and another. The letters tell what is important at the time. What is important is not introspection or the conveyance of private thoughts, but how one does things and says things. Sometimes the writer asks that the person in charge of the money release a certain amount to an artist. There is nothing of an adventure, no intrigue. Just day to day business of living in early nineteenth century Paris.
I look at these day to day records written cursive with dipped quill in ink upon handmade chain-laid rag paper, likely linen rag discarded by those who were the ones living lives and not having the luxury of touching a sheet of paper from the future not receiving a text consisting of emoticons.
I travel back through time as I touch each page. My own luxury being that I can return to the present time and make a smiley face for you.
Paris 2017 #73