I have been called a “purist” many times, and when it comes to books, there’s no exception. My love of books goes back to when I could first grasp one in my hands. As a child, I remember carrying stacks of books around the house, and sitting while flipping through them long before I could actually read the words. I not only enjoyed the pictures, there was more to it than that. I enjoyed the look and feel of the book, the sheen of the pages and gliding my hand across each to feel the softness of the paper.
My nostalgia isn’t always fun and playful objects or a yearning for an era, sometimes it hits closer to the heart in a less inviting way. British singer Adele’s newest album includes a song called “Someone Like You.” While I have never been a particular fan of hers, this song has struck a chord with me (as I’m sure it has with multitudes of others). I posted this song (VH1 Unplugged) on Facebook several weeks ago, and since have seen various other friends posting it. It seems I can’t quite escape it. I’ve included a video of her performing it at the 2011 Brit Awards (Her emotion at the end is achingly beautiful). Her voice is beautiful and I enjoy her much more in this acoustic live environment other than what I have heard on her albums. But I digress. I sometimes like to wallow in my emotions (it makes for good artistic expression when I paint, and come to think of it, when I write) and this song leaves me dripping with inadequacy, foolish illusion, and a fleeting uneasiness. So I thought I’d resurrect something I wrote a few years ago (I’m also feeling a bit lazy), that sort of reminds me of this song. And I have no problem looking a little foolish over it. (I wear that hat quite well.) Humility for the sake of art . . . or something like that.
Growing up, my Gramma was always making things, not only cooking and baking, but she was an artist at embroidery. She set to work making each of her eight grandchildren keepsakes they could eventually use for their own homes when they became adults. She embroidered tea-towels and a tablecloth. My sister’s, brother’s, and mine sat in my Mom’s hope chest while we were growing up. When I finally moved to my own little house with my very own kitchen, I broke out the mementos my grandmother had worked so lovingly on. And also a small hat shaped pincushion my great aunt Marie (other side of the family) had crocheted.
I use the pincushion. But let’s be honest, I don’t sew and I’m pretty useless when it comes to even trying to fix a small whole, but I still bought needles just so I could stick them in this little hat pincushion. Mint green (as I’ve mentioned before as a favorite color of mine) was my favorite color growing up, along with peach. So those are the colors she made mine. She was a fun lady who was always a treat to visit. She never forgot a birthday, confirmation, etc. I’m thankful for this small gift from her I’m able to still use.
It can be said that living in the past is unhealthy, and in many respects I agree. But the past not only offers lessons learned and a path to how we came to be presently, but odds and ends of a different way of doing things, helping us decide how we want to establish our personal footing in the world, and glimpses of a lost connection with something outside of ourselves.
I am those dirty words: sentimental, idealistic, nostalgic. Aka: sappy, corny, kooky. (I embrace them all!) While I am all these things, I don’t (always) live in a dream world. The reality of contemporary times and everyday life are at the forefront. I do, however, like to incorporate my love of past relics, my yearning for a more regaled approach, and my pure enjoyment of using useful yet left behind objects into my life. Technology and modern conveniences are a part of our lives now, and most of us wouldn’t know how to function without them. They do make our lives easier, but I will gladly sacrifice a little convenience for the feeling of doing something myself, the latest trend for something I enjoy that maybe no one else does, and an easily produced object for a personal touch that alludes to something special. Continue reading