I went back and looked at some of Zach’s journal entries the other day. They resonate differently from how they felt six months ago. Am I changing or is the memory of Zach the flesh and blood person dimming? Maybe it was just that particular entry that struck me differently.
More generally, it started me thinking about how we are remembered. Once there were paintings, then photographs and now videos for images but throughout it all there has been writing. And writing, unlike images, requires the person to take active steps to create those memories. (We’ll set aside self portraits for now.)
I had reached out to my nephew Steve the other day about his blog that I remembered but didn’t have saved anywhere. He got back to me with the link and said he still went back and read it to see what kind of person he was then. Well, I think it’s too bad he’s not keeping it up, but that’s not the point. We write to be remembered – by ourselves and by others. Steve hasn’t taken the blog down. I spent a few minutes looking through some of the last entries. He’s moved on to other things I suppose. (Actually he’s a brilliant videographer. See his website at http://thedigitalagent.com/)
I’ve written a lot over the years. I generally have written more when I travel than when I’m at home so I’ve got lots of good records of that. When the kids were little I kept journals of their doings. Some of my more recent musings have been on the computer. Will the paper or the electron last longer? My bet is on the electron although there are issues with that as well.
I know I’d sure like it if my grandfather had written more. My mother has a couple of things he wrote but it’s only tantalizing. I can remember him but what about when I’m gone? A few fading photos like some others that I have. They’re of families – ancestors – but I don’t know who they are.
To be continued . . .
Here’s Steve’s blog address (last entry 2010!): http://backseatmusings.blogspot.com/