Don't give in to nostalgia. For years it's been my mantra, reminding me that the past rarely glistens, but more often rusts, with time.
I don't wax about the past, and I don't understand the way in which mundane objects and events achieve cult status through the simple process of time. Your first car becomes a symbol of automotive achievement. A favorite childhood toy seeds a dusty adult collection. A young love turns into the one you let get away.
Clearly, I am not a sentimentalist, or a collector. In fact, I am the antithesis of a collector; I am a minimalist. I love vintage clothes and old jazz but I've not worked up a dedicated fixation. This week, however, I am feeling a fondness for the past.
On this Thankful Thursday I am thankful for the gift of a vintage typewriter, a 1950 Royal Quiet De Luxe (and that's no typo; De Luxe is two words, with caps). Though it needs a new ribbon and a bit of oil, the 61-year-old relic still clacks across the page.
I love type as a graphic element, and as a former reporter I appreciate the machine of my profession. When I was a kid, a friend of the family worked the presses at The Denver Post and took me on an insider's tour. I was wide-eyed with the massive production required to bring words to paper, and delighted when he let me take home scraps of the heavy lead type. A few months later, for my 10th birthday, my parents gave me a mimeograph machine, from which I churned out copies of my own newspaper.
After college, for my first paid writing gig, I wrote feature stories for the Durango Herald on my typewriter, albeit an electric. So, I'll admit, I've got a bit of nostalgia wrapped up in the early years of type and press.
Along with memories, this old-but-new-to-me typewriter gift carries emotional weight, too. It is a Valentine's present from my husband.
"He gets you," said a friend when I told her of the gift. She's right, he does. Today I am double thankful — for a vintage typewriter, and for being loved and understood.
It's Thankful Thursday. Joy expands and contracts in direct relation to our sense of gratitude. What are you thankful for today? A person, a place, a thing? A story, a song, a poem? Tell me, what makes your world expand?