I often think about the future and history. They aren’t opposites really. The future becomes the past and the past inspires the future. But, in between, what do people in the future think about people in the past? All the things we have written… will anyone read them?
That bugs me. People may or may not read what I write now. Somehow it matters more that someone reads it all in the future. Of course, that means it has to be available to be read in some format. I don’t think it will be. I’m not that important or especially brilliant to be preserved for future generations. It all winds down to a popularity contest in the end. Kind of sad. Being popular doesn’t make what you say any better or smarter. Likely it gets edited to suit the popular opinion so the popular people keep being popular.
In the end, will anything kept from our time matter? If it is all based on popularity – how bland that will be.
Time will tell – that is such a great phrase. But, in time, we won’t be here to talk about it.
In the end, we loaded our technology (computers, hard drives with all the historical pictures on them), my old Smith Corona typewriter (yes-crazy!) and we stood holding what we decided were the most precious things… our cottage journals.
We began our first journal on our first day as we moved in to this place. Our kids’ friends wrote enthusiastic missives about how beautiful everything was. Our kids wrote about their feelings, capturing with words what their hearts were beating. “Powered down. Closed up. Fits perfect.”
The words of our son as he did his first final closing at age 18.
The journals number four now and have chronicled friendships, community losses, high points, low points, activities, picnics, first fingerprints of grandchildren, celebrations, achievements, jobs, retirements, comings and goings, weddings, funerals. Our life is there.
We carried the four journals to the boat. The most precious.
We were lucky, and so many of us felt lucky as the water bombing planes extinguished the fire and summer students were planted in the forest to seek out hot spots for a week afterwards.
We felt so lucky.
And so grateful. The journals are back on the bookshelf, fuller still after the summer of 2016.
I’ve thought about what I’d save in case of fire too. Likely everyone has at some point. I also think about my old diaries/ journals. I haven’t looked at most of them since the day I wrote the entry. At one point, moving from one place to another (again and again), I was at the point of throwing them all out. Journals are a link to our past selves. Sometimes a burden but irreplaceable too. I deleted an online journal I kept while I was going through a divorce. I don’t remember why I deleted it then. I’ve tried to get it back a couple of times but never found anything that worked. Gone forever, irreplaceable.