Life, Redux

People who keep journals have life twice. ~ Jessamyn West

Perhaps it’s rather narcissistic, but I occasionally find myself re-reading my old posts.  They seem to act as a reminder; whether I am trying to accomplish something or create something new, the old helps in the shaping.  Other times, it’s just a calming influence, a proof that there is some order to my world.

There is a value to reliving both my good times and my mistakes.  Not only does it remind me not to make the same missteps or encourage me to try again, it creates a sense of history and a narrative that can be shared.  In an online version of a journal my life becomes a little more transparent, and I find myself more accountable for the things I plan.  If I say I will do something, perhaps someone will ask me about it later, to see how I am doing.  What will my answer be if I don’t follow through with what I say I will?

We have lost the tradition of telling life stories in this world of sound bites and 18 minute long half-hour television programs.  We rarely are storytellers ourselves. Instead, we read or watch.  The oral tradition of times past has moved into a digital age, making this record of what I do and think an outgrowth of that story-telling urge.

There are many things I wish I could ask my parents about.  Times when I was small, things that I vaguely remember happening or stories I only remember part of.  The “Horace, My Pet Mountain Lion” ramble that my mother told hundreds of times and hundreds of ways, in a humorous, affected “lithp”.  The time I let the cat lick one side of a cherry sucker while I licked the other.   What my brothers liked to do and say.  Had my mom or dad kept a journal or a written account of some of the mundane, day-to-day happenings, I think I’d read it with tenderness and thanks now that I don’t have them as touchstones.

The memories I have set down in these posts let me relive my personal experiences.  Perhaps later they will let my girls relive a few things from their own stories.

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3 Comments

Filed under Day to Day, Looking Back, Parenting, Reflection, Success/Failure

3 responses to “Life, Redux

  1. it’s just a calming influence, a proof that there is some order to my world…
    yes … same for me …

  2. Susan

    My mom used to tell the Horace the pet lion story too and with the lithp. Any chance you still have the story?

    • No, I’ve always wished I had written that down somewhere. I guess we always believe things our parents do and say will endure, but it’s gone. If you ever find it, please remember me and share!

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