I started a project – part writing, part visual art – a few months ago after I found an old
Rolodex on the “Free to a Good Home” cart at the library. I didn’t know what I’d do with it when I first saw it, but knew that I needed to have it. Not too long after I found the Rolodex, I was also given a typewriter: a 1969 Hermes 3000 in perfect condition. With these two things in my possession, the idea for the project came to me.
For years I’ve written down quotations from books, lines from movies, song lyrics, memorable things spoken or written to me by friends or family. I’ve collected these things in journals and notebooks, in dog-eared and underlined books, on scraps of paper tucked into my wallet until I can transfer them to a journal.
I thought about the Rolodex – what a Rolodex once represented. It was a collection of people to call when you needed something, sources of information, places to help, colleagues you worked with or friends to count on. My “new” Rolodex was a huge Rolodex and every card, save one, was blank. On the other hand, my journals were filled with “people” that I looked to for inspiration, the ones I called on when I needed a word to keep me going or a word to share with a friend who might need the same. They’re filled with quotable quotes – great sources of information – that can be expounded upon for writing exercises or blog posts.
I decided to put this trusty old information source to use and began transferring the many quotes onto the cards of the Rolodex. The typewriter gives the cards a sense of authenticity; it makes them fit into that old box. I’ve been tempted to hand print some, but there’s also something grand – should I ever finish this project – that will be achieved by typing out a thousand quotes on a thousand cards. (Truthfully, I’ve no idea how many there really are.)
I was back at it again today after having put it aside for a couple of months, so I thought I’d document it here. Stay tuned. It’s going to take awhile, but one day it will be one pretty great collection – the best Rolodex of people to call that one could imagine.