Wednesday, September 23, 2009

They called me "Maudlin" at the Institute...

Coralius said:
You're getting a bit maudlin, aren't you?

That's somewhat true. I've been nostalgic lately, and that's sometimes not a good thing. I worry about my mortality, what I've missed, what I've lost, etc. The antidote is the opposite, of course. By this same measure of going back and poking around, I came across some things that really brought a smile to my face.

I went back and found some of my responses to the "5 Questions" podcast, sadly no longer active. I think I found it through Mur Lafferty's podcast. We were there at the ground floor on that one; it was one of the first interactive podcasts, and we were on there almost every week. Coralius, me, and Philoman constantly emailed our excitement at having our answers chosen back and forth. That made me smile (and laugh -- Cor's response on dying "drowning in breasts" still makes me guffaw), and I think I'll go back and check the podcast archives out again.

Looking back like that also makes me realize how few day-to-day memories we really keep. I ran across an article the other day talking about keeping a day journal - not really an blow-by-blow account of every action, reaction, and emotion, but more of a "memory tickler" that took a couple of lines to say, "X, Y, and Z happened today."

Besides being a mnemonic aid, any time you write things like that down, they become something that lives beyond you. Old journals, letters, and photos connect us to the past. I may not have a great idea of what my grandfather was like when he was young -- but I have pictures. I've read the letters he wrote to my grandmother from an Army hospital, having lost a leg and been sent back to the states. I learned that he wanted to marry her, despite her father not seeing it as a good match, particularly with him being disabled. And I know she went to him anyway.

If I can even leave a fraction of something like that, I can breathe easier and let go some of my existential issues for a while.

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