The Past Is the Beauty of the Future This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 9, 2012
The spinning record on my bedroom dresser top represents more than a slab of vinyl plastic cocooned in a cardboard sleeve. The hands that have held it, the ears that have listened to it, and the memories that have been made with the music in the background echoes a day and age many of us might not remember or care about.

I believe in the beauty of retired ways of life. As each new year, even day, brings in to our lives more advancements in technology, medicine, lifestyles, and countless other things, the light of unprocessed splendor dims further. It seems to me like we as a human race are losing the organic nature that so often brings us back to the things that magnify nostalgia and meaningfulness- the misspelled words in a frantic letter, handmade clothing, and the yellowing pages of a book passed down through generations… Does anybody miss these simple antiques?

The word “sentimental” has such sad connotations sometimes. That wouldn’t happen as often as it does if we continued to live with the physical memories of years past. The tangible experiences we have created display the sacred evidence of progress. We can’t forget what we started with if we want to advance further.

Being only sixteen, I suppose I have a hard time speaking from original experience. After all, most of my recent past has been marked with astounding changes in what is considered ‘normal’ everyday life. We can no longer be inconvenienced with the work, and possible mistakes, of human hands. It leads to the past that should be treasured being thrown away.

I believe we are too quick to replace what we already have with the newest and “best”. What sentiments are in a file kept on our computer? You can’t write comments or notes on the screen of an eReader like you can in a book. These perfectly shaped letters and words you are reading now are nothing more than my pushing of buttons; you can’t experience the mystery behind someone’s handwriting. A certain romance exists in the use of pen and ink. All of these wonders are so comforting to me. I feel at home among things with such rich history and anomalous beauty.

I walk to my phonograph and carefully set the needle down on a Chopin record of Interludes bought at an estate sale. Another generation, my generation, is dipping apprehensive toes into the waters of history. With the music, visions of the same record playing in a different house, in a different year, and to different people float through my meandering thoughts. I feel one with those who enjoyed it before me, and I can only hope someone will care enough to enjoy it after I have finished.





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