I dedicate this post to my cassettes.
I made the biggest mistake in terms of clearing up old stuff.
This mistake has hurt me deeply, and I’m trying to find a way to ease it, so I thought of turning it into a text. Let me capture it. Who knows? Maybe something good will come out of it.
Why so much sorrow for these tapes? What emotional connection remains? Why do we need to discard things we know they are important to us? Who defines what is important and what is not?
Truly, the image of these tapes ending up in the landfill without any special “farewell ceremony,” alongside other tapes and memories of other people, with all that we believe to be important, unique, and special… This image has wounded me; I picture it in front of me like a movie frame.
These cassettes contained music.
Music that shaped me, starting from my cousin who gave me my first cassettes: Nirvana, Metallica, and Sidiropoulos. With a medium that was 100% free, both for recording and replay. With all that the cassette symbolizes. Energetically and liberatingly.
The nights I stayed up until 5 or 6 in the morning listening to underground radio shows that featured unreleased demos of young punk and hip-hop artists, even narrations of unpublished texts (long before blogs…). I eagerly waited for those shows to start so I could hit the record button. And when I sometimes fell asleep during the radio show, the characteristic “clunk” sound the button made when the tape ended would wake me up to flip it to the other side, to continue recording and listen to the whole show in the morning. And I listened. MANY TIMES. With my Walkman. Always with me, always with headphones, always going to and coming from school with a precious cassette of mine.
In my search for what hurts me so much, in the end, it’s the stupidity I had in mind to do “at some point,” but it was low on the priorities list. Simply digitizing them. But it wouldn’t be the same. However, it wouldn’t have ended up in “the garbage”, so ingloriously all these hours of searching.
The joy I had making mixtapes, selecting songs uniquely for each of my friends, sharing our discoveries… With special dedications inside… What a wonderful time it was, before CDs, before Limewire.
It hurts me that I threw them away so unceremoniously, as if I discarded a piece of myself. Even though I cleared the energy, something must have remained.
My grief is combined with the realization that for me, who is still alive, this piece is so important, yet if I were to die, the next person would probably throw it away. And that’s why I threw them away.
Now is the moment to dig through archives and old technology disks, with the ambition to discover a small forgotten gem of a person who invested hours and hours of their life to create it. My father’s old hard drives. Unlabeled. Without indicating whether a disk contained work or just a backup of a backup. But for him, they are so much more than just “hard drives”. They represent his work, his life, his legacy. He didn’t share it with someone who could appreciate all that. He simply left it behind. And it needs to be explored by people who don’t know what it is.
And my price is to give them this last chance before all these materials end up unceremoniously recycled. I hope that at least objects like these will be recycled. And I take this personally.
I’ve cried a lot over these cassettes. And during my vacation, at some point I couldn’t stop thinking about them. They needed some form of redemption. Even with this brief mention. It can’t capture the emotion. But I acknowledge that there is pain and this foolish regret that doesn’t allow me to say, “What’s done is done, it’s in the past.”
And yet, I realize that the essence of all this is the memories, not the selfish need to show something “of my own”. With objects, it’s essential to reduce emotional attachment because where you once had it, that’s where you lost it. Like the hat carried away by the wind. Like the lost glove. Like the glasses forgotten or broken. Like something that simply broke. And yet, despite understanding, expressing, and applying this to so many other things… I haven’t managed to do it as well with my cassettes, as I write this on July 21, 2023. Perhaps a time will come when I can share later, “how wonderful it was when I wrote these tapes and set them free.”
I think I understand the sorrow as long as I write this text. I mourn time; I feel like I discarded it as if it meant nothing. Now, I change my story. I honor the time. I honor the material that passed through my hands, which awakened my need for connection, recording, searching, and communication. I also thank that through something so childish and innocent, I recognized the magic and power of sound, and later, of sound recording. It was my first need for capturing, for documenting. With the first medium I had the ability to touch and be touched by. Yes, then, it was part of my nature. It still is. It has permeated every cell of mine.
On the same day, July 21, 2023, the realization and liberation come. At the same time, I allow the opportunity for my father’s disks to find their fate. Whatever happens. If they end up recycled, fine. If someone finds his gem and can use it in some way, that’s fine too.
Thank you. In any case, thank you.
Whatever is written represents the sharing of personal thoughts and observations. Its purpose is to share and potentially provoke thought. It is not a diagnosis, nor a reference to illnesses, syndromes, dysfunctions, or disorders.
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