Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I am wondering if anyone else is having issues posting and commenting. I can't seem to post unless I do it as a word document 'blog post', and no matter how often I sign in I just can't comment on other people's blogs. It's annoying, but realise that if anyone else is having this trouble that you won't be able to respond to this post and let me know it isn't me ... the frustration will continue. I will have to be content with the knowledge that maybe some of you will see this and know that the thought was there, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I won't be commenting on any blogs tonight. There is always tomorrow.
When I'm feeling particularly nostalgic I go into my spare room and pull out a 'special box', so named for the contents that are barely contained within its flimsy cardboard sides. It is full of nice little letters, pictures and reminders of my life before it was filled with computers and stress and stuff.
There is also a post pak filled with letter that my mum wrote. Letters to my uncles and aunties, as well as my grandparents. The wardrobe also has a QANTAS bag, circa 1960s/ 70s, stuffed to the brim with reels of films, and a plastic box that has over 30 audio tapes that my mother sent to her parents. The films catalogue her ventures back to her 'homeland' in Holland and the silent lifestyle of a migrant family in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Tasmania (Australia). The films so a couple desperately in love and raising a cute little family, and the tapes track the life of a stay at home mum who spoke to her parents in another state via audio tapes because the telephone was too expensive. It tracks the three year old 'misinterpreted' who spoke with the hybrid guttural Dutch accent soaked in an as yet fully defined Aussie drawl. I can travel with my mother on the ship that took her from my homeland to hers, and feel the excitement as she described being asked to dance by the ship's captain.
I have three love letters written by my husband when he was just eighteen, and he was trying to make a seventeen year old school girl feel special. He has the girlish letters written by a surly teenager who, bored in Biology, took out a series of textas and proceeded to write him a letter about how much she adored him.
These are the treasures that lay quietly in my wardrobe. Waiting, I suppose, for the 4 year old mini 'misinterpreted' to grow up and ask about the stuff that she has found. We can have an amazing history lesson, but in reality, it will be incomplete. People don't create the same type of history, we do 'stuff online'. Our legacies are digital, and take away the tactile experience, remove the auditory processing, change the voice. I want my daughter to have a bit of what I have. I want my grandchildren to have something from me that they can touch and read without a computer, or some other electronic device, and to get this will take a bit of effort. Yes she will be able to find archives and a digital version of who I am, but I think I owe it to her to leave her with something else.
What do you think? Have you ever thought about the version of history that we are creating now, and does it bother you that our whole history, and evidence of our lives seems to be at its strongest online? By the way, I am aware of the irony of this post and its related questions being posted on a blog, but do like the irony, and will make the point that I do write 'stuff' with a pencil on 'real' paper at times too.