October 28, 2011, 3:11 pm
Putting my thoughts down on the paper for the first time in a very long time and it makes me feel anxious, like I have septic backup in my chest and a rolling nausea in my belly that is struggling for equilibrium. I don’t know why such trepidation is linked with spilling my guts. Hmm….that choice of phrase might give me a clue. People tend to want to keep their guts right where they are. But such a metaphor doesn’t come from nothing now, does it? It seems that opening oneself up in such a permanent venue such as pen and paper, or in this case, the even more everlasting blog-bound word document, can be a bit like letting people get a look at your insides. I don’t want to spill my guts, though, I’d much rather empty my head.
What a wonder it would be to have the kind of archives possible today for our grandparents. Imagine being able to see your grandmother’s journal in clear digital starkness; the many musings of your distant relative. My god! The things that will be chronicled in this age of digital infancy are immense. Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will look at these archaic files just as easily as we look at them.They will have pictures, blogs, tweets, facebook statuses, youtube video, and emails to piece together whole lives as if they were actually there.No having to see between the stains, creases and fades for them!
There is certainly something to be said for the portraits that lined the hallway walls in great ornate frames of oak. My great-grandparent’s photographs, lovingly kept in leather bound albums by my grandmother, and then my aunt, show the sepia toned ladies in long skirts and high collars, their hair expertly twisted and piled high on their heads. The gentlemen stand looking straight at the camera with proud and serious expresions that are mirrored in the faces of their spouses and their children, all of them frozen in time and space. But looking through that void with their familiar faces, their lives, these freshly furrowed fields, that porch or parlor; they are all in a distant sepia-toned world for which we have very little frame of reference.
It is true that in this age of information, there will be no shortage of detail about every aspect of our lives for future generations to peruse. With the way some people publish the most tedious details of their lives on facebook and in tweets, it makes the jobs of future historians easy. Archeology will have a whole new division dealing with digital archives, and today’s facebook drama will be tomorrow’s historical record. No sifting through the dirt piecing together clay shards for them. They will be looking for the stories of individuals, and communities of digitally connected lives, in full HD.
That being said, let me just say that I hope my grandchildren, etc… have enjoyed this blog, and if I have represented myself well, then I hope you will be inclined to express yourself, too. Be clear and honest, and say the things you think about. Don’t mind too much if anyone will read and appreciate your words, just put them down for posterity. You just never know who might find them someday.