"The unexamined life is not worth living." --Socrates
today my computer crashed and I wasn't wearing my seat belt. irreplaceable writing and photos lost to the black hole of technology. it has made me think a great deal about the archiving of life. after the mac genius delivered the traumatic news, I literally felt something inside of me fizzle and fade. pieces of me were parts of that hard drive. after recovering from the loss, I comforted myself with future plans on how to avoid such devastation. I pictured dedicating a whole room to the storage of hard copies of everything that has now gone digital. I imagined a rain-forest slain in the name of printing out everything I have ever written.
and then, I starting thinking of it in a different way, as in, what did I really lose?
do I need to have pictures reminding me of times my brain has decided to forget? do the stories my hard drive destroyed perhaps need retelling? how much are we held back by memorabilia of past loves and past lives? how much do we really benefit from reading our 7th grade journals? maybe we cling to these things as progress reports, proof of the evolution taking place in our own life. or perhaps, we keep them as valuable proof of a life lived. I often look at photos of my life and marvel at how exciting it seems frozen on a screen. the wonder of experiences worn down by time is often renewed by a photo album. how much of who we are is defined by how many relics our museums hold? does framing our better moments and hanging them on our walls give us a clearer impression of the artists we have become?
Benjamin Disraeli said, "The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it." just make sure you back up your manuscript, or you might forget who you were.