t’s not every day that I step out my front door to find an antique typewriter with a personal note rolled into the carriage. But that’s exactly what I found at the end of December, after a day I had spent struggling with code and HTML tags and lagging internet speeds. It was a beautiful commentary, and I have fellow creative realist (and Mac-lover) Michelle Lagestee (yes, she of Christmas Game fame) to thank.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to share some of the note she typed out for me:
“…I saw this typewriter months ago and immediately thought of you. It may be a used antique, but looking past the dust and worn edges, these keys have graced beautiful fingertips that typed many letters. The Lord only knows all the magical words that came to life from this machine, this invention of its time. It may be of only decorative and nostalgic use in this 21st century, but the idea behind it remains the same. Creating. Inspiring. Revealing. Reflecting. Recording. This tool served many purposes in its day. Now it is just a remembrance of what once was. Or does it still symbolize something greater?
“It may seem like an old, silly gift, but I hope that when you look at it, when you’re deep in thought, working on your next book or piece, you see the progress we’ve made. You appreciate the Apple MacBook Pro even more with its easy keys and deletion and editing capabilities, to name a few. :-) Yes, this typewriter represents the past, but I hope it reminds you of our awesome present of digital communication. And what is yet to come.
“You are the creative genius, publisher and scribe. You get people thinking and connecting thoughtfully. You help others share their story. …God has blessed you with a gift and strength of communication that you have honed into true beautiful talent. Thank you for positively influencing me in this way and for inspiring me to get back to journaling. I’ve been writing nursing care plans, research papers and patients’ acute care charting for so long, it has often exhausted the fun out of writing for me. But writing truly is therapeutic expression. I love your passion; don’t ever change.…”
ichelle, I don’t know how long it took you to type a full-page letter with no indication of correction tape or liquid paper, but thank you! This gift is a real treasure. Not only does the typewriter bring to mind my early beginnings as a writer (yes, I learned on a machine almost as old as this one!), but your letter is a spot-on reminder of all those deeper truths. You’re right, technology may make it easier to share, but having something worthwhile to share is just as painstaking as ever.
Thank you for the reminder. And for letting me know that the words I scribble and type and code and post are landing somewhere, and making a difference. That means a lot to me.
Here’s hoping your new year finds you eager to journal, and that in the work of journaling you find yourself renewed rather than drained, inspired rather than exhausted.
And if you want to borrow my typewriter to do your journaling, let me know! It’s sitting on the corner of my desk, just being an inspiration.
7 thoughts on “A type of inspiration”
Melanie, I learned on one of those. Tickety-clackety-ding-swish. Love it! What a great gift. What a neat prod…
My grandma had one of these and it was my favorite thing to “play” with at her house. By the time I took typing in high school they were electric. There is nothing like the sound or feel of an old typewriter! I think everyone who typed on them had pretty strong fingers, I remember the keys being hard to press down. Fun gift idea and beautiful letter…true words, too!
What a beautiful story and truly touching gift!
I remember playing around with one of these, and then “graduating” to an electric typewriter. At first I didn’t like the feel of the electric one—like Julie says, I had learned to type with so much force on the manual typewriter, and when I applied the same amount of force on the electric keyboard, I would get duplicate letters! But gradually I made the adjustment, and then I liked electric because you could type much faster while barely touching the keys.
A labor of love and creativity. At first, I thought that it was one of those USB conversion kits that allow you to turn any manual typewriter into a keyboard for an IPad. Mello, you wrote, “You’re right, technology may make it easier to share, but having something worthwhile to share is just as painstaking as ever.” So true, so true.
Yes, technologically we can “reach” millions of people very easily, but are we really reaching them? And when we succeed at winning their attention and earning their trust, are we able to maintain that trust? Now we’re talking about building a relationship. There’s no app for that!
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