Eulogy for Typewriter

655 words | 3 page(s)

When a loss is so great, it seems as if there is no possible way to go on. We go through our days in a kind of fog. The loved one, the one so important to making life worthwhile for is, is simply gone. We gather here now, in fact, for something more than the need to pay our respects. We gather because it’s a way of easing our own pain. It’s a small piece of comfort because we know and feel that, no matter how painful the loss of the typewriter is to us individually, there are others who understand the same, crushing reality. In that sharing of misery, then, maybe there is a chance to move forward and find meaning in life again. We can only pray that this happens for us, as we come together in shock and pain.

Oh, I know there are those saying, well, this is how life happens. Progress comes, new machines take the place of the old, and there’s no reason to mourn the end of the old. The same people would say that it isn’t even right to be upset about the death of the typewriter, or any machine at all. It was never human, they say. It never cared about you, they say. Why even give a thought to a piece of metal and some keys, they ask. These people, however, fail to understand something extremely important. Yes, the typewriter was a machine, but we were not and we are not now. It is because we are human beings that we feel this pain, and because the late, lamented typewriter brought out our humanity and helped us to be the best of ourselves. You know exactly what I’m talking about. This was far, far more than a square metal machine with a roller, a space bar, and a stamped alphabet of letters and symbols to press. To begin with, the typewriter gave us an opportunity we never had before – to express ourselves without worrying about handwriting or being understood on the most basic level. This was and is important, and also because the perfect lettering motivated us to pay more attention to everything we wrote. Suddenly, and with the typewriter in front of us, we became better because we had a professional tool.

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It also gave us a great deal more because of what it didn’t do for us. Like a caring friend or parent, it was there to help, but we were still responsible for what we did ourselves. The typewriter didn’t check our spelling or grammar. It never allowed us to easily replace content, or turn to different formats to make our writing “appear” better. It was always there for is, but it placed demands on us making us think, and consider, and work at saying the right thing. Call it nothing more than a heavy, clumsy machine. There is some truth to that. Still, that machine opened doors to who we were and what we might become. It was never easy to use, but the effort itself led to the desire to improve in how we used it. It supported us, too, in the mechanics, with every punching of a key helping us to understand that this is yourself on that paper.

Like me, you’re probably wondering how you can move past this immense loss. I know what I plan to do. I plan to keep the typewriter alive by never forgetting what it meant to me. I plan to remember, every time I use a computer keyboard or send a text or email on my phone, that I owe these conveniences to the bulky machine from the past. And, when I do these things, I will again feel the sadness for the loss, and the gratitude for the old-fashioned, replaced wonder that once encouraged me to be my best in expression as no modern device can. May it rest in peace.

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