Modern technology is wondrous. I truly mean that in the greatest sense of the word. We live in an age of miracles and power. Airplanes connect continents, cell phones connect people anywhere, and computers streamline the flow of knowledge to the breadth of the world’s minds. These technological marvels are life changing, yet, the old tools can carry a certain charm, and a certain spirit all their own. We cannot discard them to the trash heap of time. A pocket watch, a fountain pen, a record player; all have been surpassed, smoothed over, refined. The tick on the watch, the gentle flow of the pen, the warble of the record, these experiences are worthwhile. Old tools bring variety to life, a connection that enriches and sustains. Here are a few of my favorites.
Pocket watches are such delightful machines. Their clicks, ticks, smooth motion and constant companionship are calming in a sea of digital flashes and beeps. My wife has given my three pocket watches over a our relationship. I treasure each one. The chain reminding me of their presence, the sound of one in a quiet room, the gentle dance of the gears visible in the transparent casing all create such a unique experience. A cell phone clock may be more accurate, but I will always carry a pocket watch from my wife. A companion, a talisman, a fine timepiece.
For Christmas this year, I rolled the dice on a fountain pen as a gift for my best friend, he is happy with it. Why did I get it? The more I read on it, the more my imagination was captured. The light touch required for writing, the finesse, and the style of the implement all merged to make writing seem a bit more fun compared to using your average ballpoint. I ordered a cheap one for myself for a trial, I have a good feeling it will add a bit of flair to my everyday scribbles.
The old tools available today might require more care, time, or money. There might not be as many features, or might be fragile. Yet, their unique purpose and spirit provide worth beyond their physical characteristics. I love museums, I love working with old things. Taking new versions of some of those objects into my everyday life helps give them a new life in my eyes, and makes everyday tasks just a little more interesting. Give it try, you may find a old (new) tool to enrich your life!