A Rainbow

My laptop has this pretty feature. I didn’t buy it for this, it wasn’t even a factor in the decision making, but still, this morning I’m sitting here watching the waves of color wash around behind the keys, and contemplating why I named this computer Iris. It’s not just the fancy backlighting being a rainbow – I could change the color or possibly even switch it off entirely. I touch-type well enough I could get away with a dark room and a dark keyboard, as long as I had the little nubs on the home keys to figure out hand configuration.

No, the name goes back to childhood reading material, and discovering that L Frank Baum wrote 14 novels starting with The Wizard of Oz, and then a bunch of other people wrote follow-ons to the series. I remember the fat mass market paperbacks vividly, and how hard it was to find some of the original Baums. In one of his – and sadly I no longer recall which, but I think perhaps 2 or 3 – the main character (which may have been Betsy, not Dorothy herself ) meet Iris, the rainbow. It would have been later, into my teens perhaps, when I learned that Iris was the goddess of rainbows. So. An art computer named for the heaven-shot bow of color that is a promise the world shall not end in rain again.

Why not? I weave stories from the smallest hanks of threads, after all. Ariadne at her silks, and me here tapping on the dancing colors. The myths and legends we tell ourselves serve purposes beyond what the writer or teller intended. Perhaps in spite of intent. There was a conversation about classics – and bear with me, my memory of this is a bit fuzzy and it may have something to do with the nice scotch people kept handing me last night – and why they endure. It’s not enough to have pretty words. There has to be a core of something relatable to passing generations, as changing as those are. Something that appeals to the bedrock of human nature.

Wizard of Oz does this, although admittedly more through the movie than the book. I know my kids are aware of the book – we had a lovely illustrated version. I wonder what happened to that? I woke up this morning thinking about bookshelves, and the plan for the new house, and it has occurred to me that if I plan to cover two walls in the office with books, we may just build those over the paneling rather than remove it… Hm. The room that will become the office already has a built-in bookcase, and two (2!) closets, so I can’t completely line it with bookshelves. Besides which, it’s not big enough. Although if I did, that would probably approach sound-booth acoustics for audio work.

Potentials, and dreams, and collecting books. Writing, through it all. I may not manage much else in life, but this is enough for contentment, sitting in the dark with the light of the keyboard dancing under my fingers. It’s early, I haven’t yet had any coffee, and I was up very late. I was also relaxed by the time I went to bed, because… because. It was quite the day but it ended well.

Soon there will be people gathering again, and we’ll be telling stories and talking shop and generally enjoying being in the company of our tribe, until we scatter again for a year. Mostly. Me and mine, we aren’t going very far. Header image is from the first of these gatherings, with the rain coming down and the rainbow yet to come.

9 comments

  1. The stories that last have a core in them, some thing that is True, even if it is not true in the “documented in three cuneiform tablets, as well as a wall inscription, and a confirmed grave” verifiable. They often also have Beauty, but not always beauty.

  2. blinks

    I think your memory deceives you. They meet Polychrome. The rainbow itself is her father not Iris. And her sisters aren’t named.

        1. Time for me too. I could have sworn that Polychrome was in one of the Ruth Plumly Thompson books.

          The gaming keyboards – not for me. I have way too much of Ooh, Shiny! Syndrome. Probably forget to eat.

  3. The stories that get handed down…and the stories that don’t. The BBESP did a tangential column on this about how one culture could “conquer” another culture but that the “defeated” culture would live on in the stories if that defeated culture had stories worth telling. She mentioned the Roman culture surviving the Vandals. I give you the Chinese culture outlasting the Mongols.

  4. I see some familiar looking faces in the photo. I hope y’all are having fun at FoolzCon.

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