Friday, February 24, 2012

Newspaper floors

There's a story my grandmother told me about her mom; about waxing the floor and covering it in newspapers for the next several days to preserve the shine.

The story has stuck with me. I think of it in lots of instances. Most recently, after mopping my own floor and wishing I could make us wear the booties they give out at home shows for the next week or so. (Unfortunately, I don't think they come in a size small enough for The Lou.)

But I think of it also when I want to preserve shining moments; when the tendency in me to photograph, record, write or sketch something into some post-existenceto keep it pristine, at least in my mindoverwhelms by better senses. Or when the desire wells up to preserve relationships they way they once existed, rather than letting them grow as the organic things they are. I pause before taking my first bite of a meal I'm particularly proud of. I try to keep my hair and clothes looking the way they did when I walked out the (bathroom) door that morning.

I think most of us have a tendency to preserve.

And is it bad?

I've had countless conversations with Mike about the culture of preservation we see in the Italian people. The recipes, the churches, the way things are done just so. And truly, I think tradition is important.

But it can be taken too far. Crinkled newspapers aren't nearly as nice as a worn in floor. Some things don't need preserving.

Our conversations on preservation always conclude with thoughts on why we feel it's important to be innovative, to embrace modernity, to be forward-looking and stare the future in the face. And how the message of The Restoration is not about looking backwards, but about preparing for something greater.

After all, there's so much to look forward to.

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