Friday, May 17, 2013

Sun-Bathed Record Keeping

We live in a time that is- interestingly - very conducive to record keeping.  There are a million ways to keep track of your life, your habits, your events.  I've always felt that journal keeping is way undervalued, and also under-thought.  I keep a journal, but I also keep daily planners from years past.  I love my Doogie Howser-like journal entries, but just as much I love reading through my to-do lists from college, including "kiss James" from sometime in 2002 (check, by the way).

I love reading through papers I wrote in college and old grocery lists on the back of scribbled recipes.  Because, the thing about memory is, you were there.  You don't need the whole event spelled out as if you weren't, so half-thoughts posted as status updates four years ago jumpstart memory and start to act as a journal entries.

I just think it's funny, in this age of detachment and a-synchronous communication, we are better equipped than ever to record our lives. And, I know, there's lots of noise out there about how we edit.  How we only take photos of the good parts, and leave out the messy hair and disappointing lunches, but, I don't know.  I don't think that's such a terrible thing.  Because who are we recording for?  I can only speak for myself, but I record for myself.  So, I don't edit as much as choose how and what to remember.

Maurice Sendak once said that raising a child should be the most creative work you ever do.  I think a lot about this.  In the context of Edie, but also just about the paradigm shift implicit in that statement.  It's easy to believe our lives are monotonous and banal.  Shouldn't it be just as easy and as realistic to believe they are eventful, lovely, and sunbathed?


  1. I like this and you.

    I think this is also why I love "found things." I pick up grocery lists I find on the street, I save scratch paper that people leave in library books, and I pocket notes I find in bathroom stalls. I'm fascinated by the glimpse into someone else's life. I know for THEM, this piece of paper has meaning, and it's this un-posed, un-practiced snapshot of their life at the moment...a little mystery I get to peek at.

  2. first, please tell me those are acid wash jeans. second, I really liked this and it's why I have held onto all my planners and budget books, because when I look at them, I remember vividly what I was doing years ago, simply by looking at my to do lists or how much I spent eating out at a restaurant.