Why Can’t Anything Stay The Same?

Why Can’t Anything Stay The Same?


(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
synonyms: flexible, pliable, supple

(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

The world around us is moving at a breakneck pace. It’s becoming a colossal challenge to stay current; to keep up.

It seemed like, in the “good old days”, you could count on the solid footing that the status quo provided.
Those days are gone for good, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Many, many of the changes are for the better.

I just get nostalgic for some of the things that have gone the way of the rotary phone and Drive In movies.

I remember my dad grumbling under his breath, about the price of gas during the 1970’s gas crisis, when it had the audacity to hedge closer and closer to the one dollar a gallon marker. He was crestfallen when suddenly there was no attendant to check his oil and tire pressure and wash his windshield.
Shit, he even had to pump his OWN GAS!

It was hard for me to understand his consternation, hey, this was progress, after all.

But now I totally get it.
For the life of him, he could have never imagined something that had been 17 cents a gallon his whole life, would EVER cost him a dollar.
Un fathomable.

What about the days when we had one, MAYBE two telephones, connected by wires TO. THE. WALL. in our homes. You had to stand in one place while you held a conversation, and sometimes (gasp) it just rang and rang, with no answer machine to take a message.

Deep philosophical question alert: If a phone rings (in the forrest) and no one answers, and no message is left….. did the call actually occur?

However did we manage to live life?

My girlfriend and I were lamenting the fact that we aren’t ever alone anymore.
Like an ever present stalker, our cell phones lurk nearby, keeping us connected to the world, whether we want to be….or not.
Try unplugging for a day. It is harder to kick than crack cocaine.

I for one, do appreciate all the new technological advances in the last twenty years.
I love laser printers, smart phone cameras, texting, fax machines, email, my iPad, the ability to buy virtually ANYTHING from my bed, in my pajamas, at 2:30 in the morning.
I have worked hard at becoming resilient to change.

But here’s the thing. I need to mourn some of my favorite things that have been lost along the way.

I miss the Borders Bookstore on La Cienega. I loved being a single loser and losing myself with all the other single losers on Saturday nights.
We would purchase our pre-requisite coffees at the coffee counter,(which were pretty descent) and proceed to roam the self help aisle. I’d eventually make my way to the music section (that was the cool thing, they had a music section) where the cute hipster guys hung out.
Then, as I left, I’d grab a People, Vogue, and Allure magazine from their incredibly comprehensive magazine WALL.
If I felt sophisticated, or was trying to impress someone nearby, I’d add an Italian Vogue…….Ciao Borders.

I miss the neighborhood bookstores. I miss the smell. I miss Borders. I’m going to mourn it before I order from Amazon again. ( which will probably be in the next twelve minutes.)

Both my beloved high school and the place I worked for close to twenty years cease to exist. They were both destroyed by God. My high school by the 1994 earthquake and Antiquarius Antiques was burned down about six years ago.


*The former entrance to my beloved Alemany High School

Whenever I drive by either of those sites, where I lived out large chucks of my life; I feel slightly melancholy.
In my minds eye I can still picture how they USED to look.
Current reality is very different. One is a perpetual construction site and the other is just ruins inside a chain link fence.
They reconstructed the school across the street. It’s lovely…..meh.

I like to think I’m flexible, pliable, and supple (what?) to change, and I can be.
But what I think we all need to do (because I know I need to), as the world continues to whizz past us, is take a minute and mourn the loss of the things we loved that have gone bye-bye.

That will keep us stretchy and resilient.

okay, your turn. What are the places or things that have left in the name of progress? What do you need to mourn?
Tell me about them below.


  • wishing4peace says:

    Right now I am in the process of mourning my childhood home. The big four story red brick house on the corner is up for sale. My parents have moved to a more manageable house with less stairs and better access. (And a prettier view, I may add. The commercial world is encroaching on the beautiful Red Brick’s doorstep. Instead of meadows and trees, the view has become one of parking lots and small businesses. Sorry butterflies, you’ll have to go somewhere else to find the flowers that were here.) However, I remember the meadows and trees. I remember my dad brushing my hair with a novelty-kid’s-hairbrush (it looked like an alligator) on the first floor staircase landing. (I think I was about 3.) I remember running to the second floor bedroom window to watch to train when it’s whistle blew. (Still very young.) Reading with my mom. (Always) The bunny-barn and the wood shop. (Not connected, don’t worry.) Then the late night slumber parties and high school formals… Even when in college, I came home most summers. I will always think of Red Brick as “home.” For real HOME. I am going to miss it. But change is inevitable. If we can not embrace the change, then we can be torn apart. Trying to keep our stubborn feet rooted in the past while the future is hurtling at us like tsunami can only tear and break us. (Bend like a reed in the wind?) I say “surf the tsunami, but don’t forget where you came from.”
    Love & Luck,

    • jbertolus says:

      That’s beautiful Steph. It’s exactly what I’m talking about. Yes, mourn the loss of the that beautiful red brick house, it helps keep the memories from turning to melancholy.
      Love you!

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