I bought an old typewriter last year, and when I sat down to try it out, I began to type everything that came to my mind. The feeling of typing on a typewriter is very different than a computer. I guess there’s a finality to every move you make. There’s no easy way to delete your mistakes. This finality forces you to pause before you type, and then it forces you to keep moving along when you do. You have to accept what you do, right or wrong, sort of like life, in a lot of ways.
As I typed, something very unexpected happened — I began to cry. The more I typed the more I began to sob. Thank goodness for middle school typing class or I wouldn’t’ve ever been able to finish typing my thoughts. I switched out for some fresh paper.
I haven’t shared this here, because one, it makes me sound cooky crying as I use an old typewriter, and two, it was a personal moment that I wanted to keep to myself, but this summer I’ve felt something happen inside of me, and I have no idea what it is, but I’m excited to see where this compelling desire will take me, will take us.
Here’s what I wrote on my new old typewriter. The Day I Bought My Typewriter, or I’ve transcribed it just the way I typed it, errors and all:
It took me by surprise. I bought this old typewriter on a whim, on a spur of the moment decision. I’ve fallen in love with writing. Or better yet, I’ve found my home in writing. It calms me, it moves me, and I have felt my soul come alive with every word I type. So, when I made the decision to buy an old typerwriter, it was more for the sense of honoring something bigger than it. It was a way for the words I know I will write to be added into the certain place that all the greats have typed their brilliant words. I type with intrepidation, but with also a reverence for the ground that I walk on
is a ground that in many ways is a holy ground, for it’s in this place that words become eternal. It’s in this place that mountains are moved, governments crumble, and new worlds are created. It’s on this holy ground that the voice of God is spoken.
I bought this type
rwriter to pay homage to all the great writers before me. I thought I would unearth a new level of writing, but what I did find took me by surprise. It was in the smell of this old typewriter The slight vibration under my fingers, the hum of it”s old byt strong motor, it’s in the clicks of the keys as they hit the paper with force and purpose that I found you. It is the memory of you, really, but if I sit here long enough I know I will see your face appear. I didn’t expect to meet you here, in this moment.
You gave me a gift when I was seven. I didn’t know you were giving me a gift. In fact, I don’t think you knew you were giving me a gift either.. I sure you were just trying to find something for me to do on those those long hot summer days at your tiny turquoise trailer in the Arizona desert. But it was a gift, none the less, Just like now, I clicked away at the keys discovering words, creating words. It was your place to create words and write stories, too. You were at home writing, and that’s what you did. Neither one of us knew what was happening on those long summer days, but as I click away today, I now know what happened; you introduced me to the sacred world of writing. You showed me the power of words and you let me explore that sacred place on a seemingly insignificant old typewriter. Your stories never made it to publish. They were tucked away, and now live in a box in my mother’s garage.
Mylove for writing would be buried soon after that summer. Oh, it would surface every once in awhile, over the years of my life igniting my soul, but then life would bury it again. The beauty of a buried gift is that it is never gone. It just waits. Buried. It’s value grows with every passing day, and just like every valuable treasure, it desires to be found, to be discovered, and brought into the world to be fasinated in.
My gift has been discovered. I have found my home in writing, but what took me most by surprise is that I found you here, so alive and so vibrant, just like the keys under my fingers. Thank you, dear grandma for showing me this place, for leading me here, and then meeting me here all these years later. Thank you for welcoming me into the world of greats, the world where my soul unites with God.
Now I take off my shoes, for I see that I am standing on sacred ground. I am reverent in this moment.
My typewriter died a few weeks after buying it, and I’m still sad about it. I guess it brought back a piece of my grandma, who I’ve missed since I was sixteen.
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