Sunday, March 26, 2006

Party Hats for Potash

A friend of mine's been hospitalized with some heart trouble. In one way or another my thoughts have been dominated by him this weekend. He's a distinquished professor of medicine, artist, philosopher and life is so enriched by connection to him. He's also the father of one of my longest and best freinds. Medical emergencies have upsides: For one there's incredible relief when health seems to be improving. And another is being with people we love and perhaps don't seen enough. My old friend lives in another state and being with her is such a pleasure. Always when I'm with her there are 101 new ideas to explore garnered from the conversations. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and certainly in this case both my freind and her father are brilliant lights in an all-too often dim world.

I used to write more letters. I like to write letters, but it's a different sort of writing than writing emails; it's more immediate and you just fire them off. Writing essays, say for an academic assignment, is different from writing blog posts too. For various reasons I like to write posts online, if for no other it makes inserting links easier, and like emails are to letters, blog posts are to essays more immediate. I'm not sure my essays are more thoughtful than my blog posts, but to be sure I give them more thought. Strangely there seems an advantage to putting out ideas online which on further examination produce second thoughts. Comments left provide feedback and perhaps will lead to better second thoughts.

When I came home last night from visiting my friends, I wished that I'd worn flowers. I'm of the opinion the world would be a better place if people were to wear flowers more often. There are probably more flowers, weeds included, in my garden now than I suspect. The crocus seem too fragile for wearing and the daffodils aren't yet in bloom. Ah, the spring flowers I look forward to wearing are the violets. I love violets and am quite happy that they grow wild here and they're a flower well worth picking.

Wearing flowers is a little something we can all do like wearing painted shoes to make living a little more beautiful. Such simple things can really change our outlook for the better and of the simple things that in my experience make a good difference are paper party hats. Especially for adults paper party hats are too little used and too often unavailable.

I like making paper party hats. The ones I make aren't the most beautiful in the world, but each is unique. People always seem to enjoy them.

One of the best testimonials was from a friend at a summer party near a wonderful senic area in our locale called Ohiopyle. A gang of us had camped the night and had revelled and danced in our party hats the night before. This was a special gathering, years before at the same place we'd celebrated the wedding of our good hosts there about the same time of year, the Fourth of July. But for many years with young children to tote about we hadn't camped together like we used to. So now the kids are all a little older, so we camped with the kids. My friend was loading up his car to take his boys swimming wearing a party hat. I don't remember whether someone else asked if he was going to wear his hat to the swimming area, but he said:
I like wearing party hats in the morning. I shall wear the hat in full view of the public. It's coming out of the closet; saying to the world: Yes, I'm a fun person.
Such is the power and mystery of paper party hats!

Last post I quoted Potash but didn't attribute the quotation to him:
What you offer is answers to tomorrow's questions when what I really need are solutions to yesterday's issues.
One danger of blogs is how easy it is to put other people's business into the public view. So Potash had written me that in regard to misunderstanding him the first time around and in answer to him I misunderstood what he was telling in that round. I'm hoping Potash won't take offense at this effort on his behalf.

I miss his posts at A Kenyan Urban Narrative I want more. It turns out that yesterday's issues are quite pressing. His teeth are hurting him, he needs money so the university will release his credentials, and he hasn't got enough to go to the cyber-cafe to post.

Goodness knows I don't have any money. But I'm none too please Potash is suffering so. The world needs party hats. I can make party hats; that is I can make some party hats, each one takes me about an hour to make.

Five dollars may seem a lot for a party hat, but people are often willing to spend $3.50 on a greeting card. And the party hats I make are good for wearing more than once. So five bucks doesn't seem so bad. I figure it would be worth one hundred hours of my time to make one hundred party hats with the goal of raising five hundred dollars to help Potash find solutions to yesterday's issues. Well, that's particularly true if it would mean him posting to his blog.

As an extra bonus with each hat a crisp new Bazungu Buck will be included.

This whole idea is one that I may well have second thoughts about, nevertheless I like the idea in so many ways. First of all I do need to sit down and work with paper. I'm so convinced that there is great potential for the tiny books I call Cracker Jack Books and a friend suggests calling Microlibros. I would love it if there were a Web site where people could publish their own Cracker Jack Books in a neat format. It would be great if I could make a template in my Open Office word processing software. But those are tomorrow's answers and realistically today my own Cracker Jack Books are going to be drawn on paper and saved as a JPEG for printing out. I need to sit down and do that and making paper hats will encourage me to sit down with a ruler and pen.

Writing this has taken me more time than I thought. I smell dinner, actually I've got to go rescue the roast and cook up some vegetables. So I'll post this and continue later:-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're joking right? 'Potash' is a 40-something Kenyan man who sits on the computer day in day out writing something. He's also a pathological liar and at times believes in those lies. Nice going muzungu. lol.