Today's Time Capsule
I’ve been itching to document everything lately.
The cornflower blue sky. The Canadian geese flying in Vs overhead, their honks echoing across the landscape. The mist rising up from the cornfields each morning as the earth cools and decays.
Evidence of time’s passing is all around me. The baby braces himself against the leg of the coffee table, getting ready to stand. Soon he’ll be clinging to the side of everything and anything he can clutch, like a little barnacle, and then he’ll be taking his first shaky steps, and then he’ll be walking everywhere.
It gives me a sense of vertigo, these changes. I look at him and think: I was a baby once. I was a baby and now he is a baby and he will never remember this moment, just as I can’t remember anything from my infancy. But it happened, just as this moment is happening, unfolding second by second and dissipating like smoke.
Where do these moments go? Of what value is a past that you can’t remember?
I feel an urgent need to understand these things, and I can’t, and this, perhaps, is why people turn to religion.
What’s the point of blogging about this? My inner critic balks. It’s irrelevant to your book.
But maybe it is relevant. I’m capturing my history as I’m living it, in the same way I want to capture the history of my ancestors. So that I can feel connected to something bigger than myself.
I never got to know my grandparents. Never got to know them as people, or apply their life lessons to my life. When I look through their personal effects for some clue about their lives, I find nothing but greeting cards and posed vacation photos.
I don’t want my grandchildren to live with that same void. I don’t want them to think that they have to mask the messy parts of themselves, or push aside their complex feelings and beliefs about the world in some misguided attempt to seem more lovable. I want them to know that I tried really, really hard to live life with integrity and compassion, and I want them to know that I failed. A lot. And that it’s OK.
Maybe each journal entry and blog post is a time capsule. An intimate letter to my future self and whoever else might be reading it 10, 50 or 100 years from now. The world will look very different then. The changing of the seasons is a microcosm of this. A strip mall where a cornfield used to be. The accumulation of gray hairs. Death where there was once life.
Isn’t that what it’s all about? All this writing and blogging? It’s an attempt to create some shred of immortality, because I can’t fathom what it must be like to not exist.