The Climax of Anticipation

Jan 19, 2011 by

The Climax of Anticipation











The thrill of anticipation can grab you captive in exhilaration.
The excitement when what you’ve waited for is almost yours, hanging you spellbound.

We know these feelings.
They are elating.

Yet, we have become accustomed to having things immediately.
We have become so matter-of-fact about snapping-finger-fast responses.
Instant gratification is the perceived expectation.

It is as if we don’t remember the joy of longing.
Or, is it that we have forgotten the elation that comes with wanting.

I stumble upon this line of thought because of a conversation I had with my almost twenty-year-old son, the other night. He has grown up in a generation that has listened to most of its commercially produced music on CD. But, he has begun to develop a taste, a joy, a love of listening to music on vinyl.

It was this he and I were chatting about the other night when I asked him what sparked his interest in vinyl records. I found his answer both captivating and enticing.

He did not talk to me about sound quality, 33 1/3rpm vs. 45rpm or collector valuations. He talked to me of savoring, lingering; he talked to me of loving the patience it takes to listen to a record album.

I was bewitched. You see I grew up listening to vinyl. When a new song came out that I wanted, my friends and I would go to the “record store” and buy the record. Yep! Later, on came cassettes. But, records were my listening youth.

So, as audio has changed I have become entranced with sound clarity, music remastering, music making programs and easy access to songs and music anytime of the day or night. In other words, music now and exactly the way I want it.

But, here was my son opening my eyes to the world as he sees it. He explained, he loves to go to one of the local music stores offering previously owned or newly recorded music, currently being laid down on vinyl-like material. He will wander around picking and choosing carefully. He likes all kinds of genres. Inevitably, he’ll buy a few albums.
Then, he’s homeward bound with enthusiasm as he awaits the moment of truth.

Once home, he puts the big, usually black, disc on his turntable. He flips on the record player. He watches the record spinning, spinning, spinning. As he was talking, I could imagine the colored label designs twirling like a dancer on the turning table, round and round. Then, like a maestro, he picks up the needle and he slowly and carefully puts it on the edge of the record. And, then he waits while the record spins with the needle bumping and driving upon it. There was this small, easy smile on his face and his eyes were alight (I swear I thought I heard a drum roll.) And he waits as it spins and spins. Then, suddenly, almost without warning, a rush of music explodes in the room crashing all about, hitting him and all else in its path.

Quietly, he said again, in a slow easy way, “But, you have to wait for it. You have those few moments every time you put that needle down, when you get to wait for the moment when the music starts.”

When he was done, I paused, I smiled the big smile I get when he lights my world up, and I said to him, “Honey, that’s a blog. You need to write that down!!”
He said to me, “Naw. That’s what you do. You write it. And tell ‘em what I said.”

Then he smiled to himself again. He was lingering, in the sweet memories of his anticipation.

Photo Credit: Record store Peter Sunna @flickr

Turntable: Jeff Will @flickr


  1. I must say you have hit the nail on the head. As I listened to my son talking about the coolness of vinyl I realized how easy it can be to take the magic of your own past for granted. Thanks for the reminder again, Donna!!! oxo!!!

  2. Donna Morask

    I love this and it is so true, literally and metaphorically. I was in Missouri over Christmas and spent hours in a used and new music store. there was vinyl galore! my daughter bought me Jesus Christ Superstar the original Weber Rice double LP. At the time I thought it was sweet, since I was always saying how much better the original version was when I heard it playing on her IPod. She has a record player so I figured I would borrow it one day. While browsing through that music store, I rediscovered the allur of vinyl. I purchased John Lennon’s Imagine LP. I also found and purchased Joan Baez’s first album. Now I will have to buy a vintage record player of my own for my vinyl. Oh yeah, I also bought the Beatles Abbey Road. There’s nothing like all those clues on the album cover.