Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Work in Progress ... But Aren't We All?

Hello East Shore and beyond.  This is Dale, your Beacon editor, and I thought I would kick off East Shore's member blog. If you're new to Beyond the Beacon, make sure you check out the What Is Beyond the Beacon? page, found at the tab at the top of the page.

I've been thinking about purpose, functionality and ultimately service. An old Remington typewriter once used to write sermons has prompted a number of thoughts.

I enjoy typewriters, particularly manual ones -- both for the nostalgia (having learned to type on a manual typewriter) and aesthetics. I sold this typewriter recently on eBay.

As much as I love typewriters, I'm not a collector type (or typist, if you will). I almost kept this one, though, finding out it once belonged to a minister who wrote his sermons on it and continued to use it up through the 90s. That's good history.

Ultimately, I sold it, which was fine, but the snag came when a potential buyer asked if I would send only the keys. She was an artist, and used them for projects.

I sell antiques on the side, and it isn't for me to determine what the buyer does with items, but in this case, I would need to dismantle this beautiful machine. It felt wrong and invoked a lot of guilt, particularly since I agreed.

So here was the crux. The time of this machine had passed. It would not be used as a functional piece again, only a display item, at most. In becoming art, it would go out into the world, hopefully bringing joy. I had to accept it would transform into something new.

I've wrestled with with my own identity recently, and as I've grown older I've challenged myself to move past the confines of the person I've always seen myself  as to morph into something new. In a way, some of my old ways of thinking, like that typewriter, are being dismantled, and it's upsetting. The challenge, I think, is to accept and celebrate the changes and growth without mourning the past too much.

I felt a kinship with this typewriter and understood something I can't put into words or even fully understand when taking it apart. I felt a sense of things passed, things changing, and service not yet given.

I do know I am happy the next phase of existence for the typewriter is to become art that will bring joy to many people as its primary function. That might not be such a bad service after all.

- Dale L.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how we are all a work in progress! And aren't we all, by definition, new to Beyond the Beacon? ....Do I get to be the First respond here? (I'm so much just trying to see how this all works really) I want to say yet one more time what a good idea I think this is. and maybe some have heard me say this before, but one of the very first attractions of UUism to me was the old joke about UUs: "if there was a fork in the road with a sign saying 'This way to Heaven and that way to a discussion about Heaven", the UUs would all take the road to the discussion." But sadly, I've noticed that real discussions just haven't been as popular as I'd hoped in this church. I hope Beyond the Beacon will be especially good for fostering enlightening discussions - after all, isn't the soul purpose of discussions supposed to be mutual enlightenment?