For whatever reason, I was re-reading some of Anna’s stuff the other day. Maybe it’s because she’s getting ready to take her first major trip away from home and I think we’re all getting a bit nervous about her being four thousand miles away for eleven or twelve days. She’s not even thirteen yet and sometimes even though she tries to act the adult, inside she's still just a kid. Maybe by re-reading some of her stuff it was some kind of subconscious way of reminding me that life is indeed short and it won’t be all that long before she’s headed off to college and the time we’ve shared together will be reduced to memories and the occasional shared dinner. Maybe it’s just a way of keeping her close by when she’s going to be the farthest she’s ever been from home.
Or maybe, it’s just the right thing to do.
I’ll let the shrinks in the audience ponder over that one.
I stole the title of this node from a line in one of her poems that she called Snowglobes and Memories and after giving it some thought it occurred to me it might be somewhat of a misnomer. With the advent of technology the printed words in a journal or a diary are becoming somewhat a thing of the past. There are no pages to grow brittle and turn yellow. Words can be replaced with the click of a mouse instead of having to re-write an entire entry. These days, deleting something is much simpler and even then it probably lives on in some kinda internet wastebasket and could be retrieved prettily easily. It used to be that one would think twice before tearing a page from a book. The effort to re-write an entire entry was daunting and somehow words seemed to be chosen more carefully. Once that page was gone, it was gone forever.
Photographs that once were pasted inside albums and have their color fade over time are now plastered all over the internet and the colors they contain will remain as vibrant as the day the picture was taken. The pages don’t gather dust the way they once used to nor do they make a sound when they’ve been pried open in between visits. I know that in my case, sometimes those visits might be years apart.
I don’t know, sometimes I think I want things like that to age along with me. There’s a special place in my heart for old suitcases filled with aging letters, newspaper clippings, report cards and faded photographs. There’s something in the smell that they exude that makes the memories somehow more intense, more real, more personal.
As far as I know, the internet can’t quite do that yet although I’m sure somebody somewhere is working on it. Here’s hoping that they don’t succeed until long after I’m gone.
Maybe it’s my old school mentality that makes me think the way I do. Maybe it’s because I think that by physically holding onto those things such as diaries, letters and photographs and watching them age along with me, they somehow become more precious as time passes on. In my instance, it’s a small part of what makes a house a home.
But then again, here I am, typing these words into a computer to be posted for the whole world to see. The words themselves will most certainly age but they’ll never turn yellow or finally crumble away. Just the sentiment will. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite or maybe that makes me a fool.
The jury is still out on that one.