I like listening to vinyl records. I used to espouse their listening benefits—a “better sound quality” and “more warmth”—but I’ve since stopped that. Now, when I think of vinyl, some different characteristics come to mind.
Vinyl is, first and foremost, a physical medium. The physical nature of records reminds us that their existence in our lives should be considered—they’re not to pile up like meaningless clutter. The way we play a record is also part of its greatness; you’re meant to listen to it from start to finish. This method enforces the idea that we should enjoy the work in its entirety, as opposed to chopping it up and skipping around. It’s like a movie: you’re not supposed to parse it scene-by-scene; it’s the whole that compels you to watch it.
These two characteristics of records make me think about how we consider things today.
Are we mindful of what we let into our lives? Whether physical or otherwise, do we consider the place a new object in our life has, or do we just let in new things willy-nilly?
And when we create these objects for the world, are we creating with the entire picture in mind? Do we create with the intent for an object to be whole, or do we create with the intent for an object to be chopped up and dissected into various parts which, even when brought together, are weaker than the whole?
I don’t know that we do. I don’t know that we’re applying careful consideration to the new in our lives. I don’t know that we think beyond the immediate nature of our creations. I think we should.
It’s no good to blindly create without a sense of considered purpose. Why bother, if what we’re adding doesn’t really mean anything?
I don’t know the answer. I do know that people do it. I certainly do. But maybe there’s value to stopping and thinking about it all a little more. To considering what and, more importantly, why we’re working the way we are.
Our lives are already full of crap. We should consider if it’s worth it to add any more.
Thanks to my mom and dad, without whom I doubt I’d have much experience with the joys of vinyl. Thanks especially to my dad for teaching me how to use our 80s turntable, and to both of them for their combined efforts during their youth to gather together a mass of wonderful albums which have remained in their possession to this day.