I've been disassembling cardboard boxes to make shipping boards for copies of my books for a long time, but the cover on The Big Book of Unschooling is so pretty when it's pristine that I've been packing those extra carefully, with cardboard on both sides. So I need cardboard.
In cleaning up the downstairs for the Halloween party and Monkey Platter Festival (two cleanings for one! Or one cleaning for two)... the box that The Beatles Rock Band kit came in was there, taking up a lot of space. So... to the paper cutter I went, but it's huge. The easiest thing to remove was the top. And when it was flat and looking like a giant mounted Hard Days Night poster, I just couldn't cut it.
I walked away for a few days. I went back today and cut up the rest of the box, and I have to say that that is one of the finest, strongest and most awesome cardboard boxes I have ever, ever seen. It had a fully-reinforced bottom, which is to say that there was double cardboard around where the weight of the contents was going to be. It was a fold-in-with-tabs box for the creation of the sides (which were double cardboard on each), but it wasn't all one big piece of cardboard as some fold-up boxes are. There was some STRONG reinforcement where the plastic tab-through handle had been.
So I got about 18 cardboard panels out of that box, some with great Beatles art or words, and I still have the top of it whole.
That's not a photo of mine, that's an image from online. And lest anyone think I've gone goofy, gushing about a cardboard box, I have boxes I've owned since the 70's just because they're awesome. One was thrown away one Christmas lately, a box I had reused every Christmas for a dozen years and I think I might have cried. If not, I had to think hard not to.
Someone designs boxes that can be manufactured in mass, and some of those boxes are engineering artistry, and so some of those engineers are great artists.
So where was I... OH! Michael Jackson. Marty and Ashlee, Holly and I went to see This is It yesterday, the documentary of the rehearsals of Michael Jackson's to-have-been-last show. There were some stunning moments. And this morning when I was deciding again not to cut up the top of the Beatles box, I thought of how great a part of my life involved music, and of that music how much of it was directly or indirectly related to The Beatles and Michael Jackson. And I thought of having read, last summer that Fred Astaire, when he saw Michael Jackson dance, said he was glad he had seen his successor. There was art through and through that show about preparation for a show. Sets, costumes, instruments, the music, the courtesy, the clear admiration people there had for one another, and for Michael Jackson. Computer animation and film and lighting. It was bigger than anyone could built a box for.
You can click that to see it larger.
So I thought of what is big and good and special. And I thought about how many people decide to do less and to settle for plain instead of perking up and doing what they CAN do rather than just what they barely "have to." And I'm going to keep thinking about that for a while.