The Beauty In Old Things
There's a unique beauty in old things don't you think?
That quality that seems to be inherent in the thing you just can't put your finger on.
Old has character that's been built up over time. It's the scrapes and the dents, it's the wear and tear of use and of service.
This character just can't be replicated through short-cuts no matter how clever we try to be.
The old notebook, the vintage car, the leather shoes you bought 10 years ago that you just can't throw out, the old jacket that you found in a market.
We invest value in things that have been around and have stood the test of time.
Some vintage cars command higher prices now than they did when they were first made and people are willing to part with serious cash to get their hands on them.
When I was a kid there was a popular store on Henry Street in Dublin that sold only worn Levi jeans. I'd go there whenever I could to get my second hand jeans.
It's gone now but vintage clothes are still very popular.
The reason these things draw our attention and our cash is because they were built with love, dedication and complete commitment to making something beautiful.
Making Something Beautiful Takes Time
The world is on this ever decreasing spiral downwards into more and more convenience.
We live in a predominantly throwaway consumerist society that demands quick and easy. The quicker and easier something is the better.
Electronics last a year or two if you're lucky and manufacturers build things with planned obsolescence and we seem to want it that way.
But life is not meant to be convenient, it's supposed to be testing. We're supposed to learn from doing and if we are constantly seeking an easy life it robs us of the benefit of experience.
There is a wonderful experience in making one-off things that take time to create – it's called art
Taking the time make high-quality things that last has seemed to have lost its value, yet at the same time, we value these old things.
We try to create things that look old. Like jeans with designer holes in them, and old-style pubs that fall way short of authentic.
It's a strange dichotomy.
Making beautiful things takes time and effort and sweat and toil. Without these ingredients there's no test of the spirit, there's no challenge to the psyche.
The creative process can't be rushed, it must mature of its own accord.
However many people don't understand the creative process, they think it can be boxed and made conform to the will of spreadsheets and schedules.
It's unfortunate. Maybe we need to figure it out the hard way.
What You Missed This Week
I'm in Donegal on holidays with my family at the moment and although it's tricky I'm still achieving output. Although promotion of my writing needs some work.
When I get back next week I'll get stuck in a bit more.
Donegal is a beautiful county along the lines of scenic beauty with Kerry in my opinion. The landscape is wild and rugged only spoiled by the presence of people.
The beach in the evening here in Narin is a real sight to behold.
Anyway, here's what went down this week;
Monday – The Rhythm
Tuesday – The Power Of Rhythm And Momentum
Wednesday – To Build Or Not To Build
Thursday – The Power Of Stories
Friday – The Flaw With Bigger Is Better Mentality
Saturday – Why Guinness Doesn’t Travel
Sunday – You're reading it.
That's all I've got for you today, see you tomorrow!
Jackie Kane says
I came across Sunday Letters a few months ago, subscribed and now enjoy your articles weekly. Thanks.
Love this on ‘old things’.
I had a sofa re-upholstered some years ago (it’s now 36 yrs old) & at the time ppl said ‘who does that? Just get a new one.’ I pointed out how it was so well made & comfy that to replace that quality today would cost a heap. Not to mention gave the upholsterer work ($$s).
On another article -I particularly liked your point on ‘who we write for’. Like you I’ve always felt we are writing for one person (another version of self as you put it.)
I’ve never felt comfortable with the emphasis on ‘know your audience’ ‘write to your market’. If anything gives me ‘writers block’ – its this.
Like I have to become a social researcher before I can write.
When all I really want to do is ‘just write’.
Jackie (NSW, Australia)
Hi Jackie, thanks for reading. When I write it feels like I’m talking to myself. When I read it feels like my self is talking to me. I know it sounds weird or maybe even self-indulgent but that’s how it is. I think as writers we need to bridge the gap between the inside and the outside when we write, that’s the secret to reaching more people. After all, we want to reach as many people as we can with our work and still stay genuine. I can relate to how you feel about “write to your market”, it feels fake. Keep your voice real and from the heart, then we use the tools of promotion to get it out there. I believe we need to frame our work under one particular topic so others can hook into it. Here, check this out – it’s free; https://seanwes.com/audience/
Oh! nice one on the couch! 😉