Monday, January 03, 2011

As the last few days of the year slipped away I looked back to where I started and where I am now.  It can be a relief to be in a state as close to where you began.  I am getting too old for dramatic shifts.  Yet drift will occur with time no matter how well anchored you think you are.  Recently I started practicing once again regular personal journal writing.  In the last few months I've been reading from 40 years ago when I first began taking notes on my life.    If you are a dedicated diarist you try to just record your life no matter how insignificant in a free flowing, stream of consciousness trying not to think of it ever being read by anyone but yourself. It is a personal conversation with your self.  Now that I am trying to read it all I've managed in the last month to get through the first 7 years 1970-1977. My last year of high school, my years at college, and my years on my own after graduation. There have been lots of surprises.  Moments I forgot but after reading about them I could recall and also a few moments that have been totally erased from my memory. I can read the details but not recall anything.  Sometimes I remember something very differently from the way I recorded it shortly after it happened. We probably only remember a fraction of what we experience and often over time we do significant editing on our memories.  There seems to be no common trait to what we cannot forget, what we no longer remember, and what we remember very differently.  The painful and joyful, the trivial, and the significant.  Our mental hard drive has those damaged sectors, I guess that's a good reason to back it up on paper so to speak.

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