Stored Media / Sabbath


John and Marcia were very generous with their embarrassment of stored media riches. I gave them a copy of Neighborhood Rhythms, and they filled a paper shopping bag with some of John’s and his friends’ work from over the years — poets working in and around the Los Angeles from the 1960s onwards. I’m only now getting through it.

One of the works they gave me is a beautiful collection by a poet named William Pillin. I’m reproducing one of its poems, Sabbath, at the end of this post.

As we move away from stored media, will we also move away from the cull and share cycle that came along with them? Or is there a way to share the metadata of our digital files that does the same?

We can stick with DRM, but it would be nice to have a universal standard (don’t laugh) for a digital library. There’s no reason the metadata of the media we own have to be encrypted, even if some of the content does.

Not the prescribed movement of hands, not the ritual whispers out of antique books with broken bindings, not those you left me, people of blessed candles, but a certain music, a secret between us, so that even I, a pagan in Babylon, celebrate the Creation's completion. I can spare but a few hours for this evening's silence as I can't afford a whole day without labor; and the hymns I sing are alas, not Zemirot, the Sabbath hymns, but snatches of Handel, an Anglican rabbi; but I will praise the Indwelling Glory, putting, however briefly, my trials behind me, putting, however briefly, Egypt behind me. I will not stint, I will provide of the finest. The floors will be scrubbed, the furniture polished. With choice meat and hallot I will praise Thee, aye, with a double portion of manna, with broiled fish, with a goblet of brandy. Overlook therefore the profane, the informal. Send Shabbath Shalom, the peace of the evening, to us who are doing their ignorant best at this altar; son, wife and husband basking at twilight in the tender effulgence of grandmother's candles.