I still get that surge of excitement from deep within when I hold a book in my hands. The weight of it, the crisp sound that each page makes as I turn them, even the smell of the glue in the binding galvanizes the cells within my brain. It creates a sense of wonderment as I take the first step from this world to the one within the pages. Each character comes alive within my imagination. Spurred on by the building of descriptive words, like turning a pile of clay into a detailed likeness of a goddess. Even though the author turns my head with their guidance, there is a part of me that participates in the creation of that character. I see them as no other can. There are nuances that will only happen in my head. Only in my view.
The same thing happens when I put a record on the player. The vinyl does something magical that a cd can’t touch. As the needle travels along each ridge, the atmosphere in the room changes. All my senses are heightened. Turning back time and taking me to the moment that the music was created. I don’t hear pro-tools. Compression is non-existent. It is pure and raw. If I strain my ears and listen hard, I hear flaws. Beautiful, unadulterated flaws. I feel that I have the right to be there. That it’s not a sin to listen in and hear all the things that make up that glorious whole. Like a licensed voyeur. Peeking in to where I shouldn’t but knowing that the creator would consider it “ok” for me to be there. I see something different. Something old, but fresh. Only in my view.
Now don’t get me wrong. I”m not a prude. I love technology more than anyone. A new gadget. An easier way to do something so as not to work hard, but smarter. Saving time. Saving space. Connecting faster and farther. I’ve tried though, sincerely, to gather that same feeling with the tools that exists today. I do own an ipad and am a hearty participant in the download power of books, movies and music. I use the internet to communicate, both through business and personal avenues. But that feeling that I get from reading a physical book or handling that vinyl record, can’t be duplicated.
Even as I write this, I see pen and paper in my peripheral view. It is white and clean, like an over-starched man’s shirt. It beckons me to pick up the fine-tipped pen and begin to scrawl, in my own individual writing, what i want to say. What I want to share. For some reason, when I write on paper, I’m more honest. I feel like there is something that is released within me. Walls are torn down. I feel free. My hand moves along like a artist painting a priceless creation. When I”m done writing, I look over what I’ve done. I can’t believe that it happened so quickly and smoothly and gracefully. I feel proud of it. I transferred a part of me onto that paper. Something that time can’t destroy. Yes, a wrinkle or two will occur. I realize that the words will dull from reading it over and over. That loving hands may fold and unfold the paper it was written on. It may get lost and then found again. It may even be thrown away. But the essence that surrounded the creation of it cannot be disturbed. A memory was made. Etched in time. With each press of the pen to the paper, secrets were told and revealed. I was honest. Unhindered and free.
I try. I try to get the same reaction from my modern technology. It just doesn’t work for me the same way. Even as I type these words, my hand aches to write a note and put it in my special box. One day, someone will find all these handwritten notes and share that individual, unique moment that I created with hand and ink. I hope that when they do, they can take a step back in time and share my view.