Here’s a bit of an older look at my tape collection. It’s been condensed down more significantly. Fortunately I still have a player that works reasonably well. It was an old stereo I had in my old apartment in my hometown of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Irony is the CD player on it no longer works. Meanwhile on my turntable / tape / CD portable stereo, only the turntable works.
I have kept a few tapes around that I listen to somewhat regularly. There are a few that are kept around because the liner cards are interesting. Interesting in the same way that record sleeves are of fascination. Tapes can be somewhat symbolic for me. They represent many things beyond very good memories of having carried a Walkman around for most of my youth and into my early twenties. Many a long hike in my first few days in an Alberta Mountain town were accompanied by some favourite tapes.
Tapes have also represented the reminder to go forward. There might be an instance where I might find myself rewinding, being stuck dwelling on something negative or hurtful can really be a drag-down. I am learning to acknowledge it and fast-forward back to the present moment.
It’s easier said than done. It’s taking practice. It’s not always something that results in a successful outcome. I keep trying…
If I am to rewind mindfully, it would be to reflect on a positive and happy memory. Then and only then, I’ve identified no great rush on returning to the present moment. Rather, I think of how I have made it that present moment. Much like one of these cassette tapes. A favourite song would be something I would rewind and replay over and over. The anticipation of landing the stop button right at the start of the song all over again only contributed to the positive feelings of those moments.
I’ve managed to prove to myself in a few short words, on these very pages, how important my connection to music still is.
Since I tend to angle much of my work on these pages towards writing, the question is “Is there a way to turn this kind of thinking in an approach to writing?” Probably. Looking in old notebooks and scraps of paper certainly offers a reflection on what I was thinking and feeling when I might have written something poetic. There are some older pages that I know I wrote while in high school that were reflective of a very painful time in my life. In that instance, I prefer now to not spend time thinking of that negative memory for long. Rather, I look at how my writing was and analyze it. Maybe think about how I would have written that piece today. Or how I could develop it into a further idea if I was to write out more.
Earlier in the day I was skimming some ideas on my various scraps of paper. I shuffled through many. Hoping for an idea to vault off the page and inspire some humorous one-liners that I could put on Twitter. Much of what I pulled did not inspire anything funny. So I was rewinding again. Looking back through the pile of words in order to fast-forward back to the present and find something to write about in the future.
If you find yourself rewinding back a bit too much lately on to something negative, see if you can rewind that tape back to something positive. Play that memory through.
Rinse (figuratively) rewind, and repeat if necessary.
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