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November 13, 2019

How do We Contain the Past in a Progressive World?

I like history. I like vintage clothing, but not at New York prices. I like old homes. In fact, I’m staying in one right now that is being restored. I like the creaks that you hear at night, and the thought that maybe it’s the presence of someone else that once walked their footsteps on the same floorboards. I like old wise tails more than I like the news, yet the news is something that I tend to hear the most.

“Cities start to ban natural gas” is a news article that headlined my feed today. This is a headline that many cheer for, but the first thing that trickled into my mind was the question of what will happen to these old homes.

Oil burns in the lanterns. Gas heats up the stove. A little gas furnace attached to the sides of the cast iron tub heat up the water.

If laws will require new standards of living, will the homes disintegrate along with their rich history? The work done to these homes is often a lot, and if it is completely remodeled it may not be worth it for the owner in the grand cost of things.

Climate change is undeniably real, but will the measures force people to leave a life behind that has worked for so long?

I read a review of the place I am currently staying in, which is equipped of antique décor from length to width. One woman was complaining that it was mucky and run down. I find it beautiful. I find the history just as gorgeous and interesting as the house itself.

Is the idea of modern luxury something that will be forced into law? And if so, will everything that I love start to vanish?

I watch as people my age save for the new I-phone, while I rather spend my spare dime on visiting historic sites.

This isn’t an article about climate change and the measures we can take moving forward. This is about what we can do to contain what has passed.

I was awake last night in a grand four-poster bed thinking of life in the 1800s. I was envisioning how different the times were and thinking about how much we take for granted in the technologically advanced world we have now.

I don’t want out with the old and in with the new. I want the creaks, I want the multi-step process of appliances, and I want the laughing around the dinner table rather than the faces looking up from time to time above a phone.

Is living in the past really going to have us die in the present? Or will the present kill us anyway- regardless of the measures we take to stop it?

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