4 Score and Recently “Updated”

Posted: July 9, 2012 in clarity, destiny, facebook, family, hope, me, parents, rant

Studies of our prehistoric ancestors have shown that art, music, religion, dance, and even language itself, was a way to pass down our history, our traditions, our memories. In my lifetime, I remember reel to reel home movies. Slide projectors. Audio recordings. VHS tapes and BetaMax. And 76 pound photo albums. I have learned to do my own shitty attempt at a polka. I have ran my thumbs and index fingers across the patches of quilts made by great great grandmothers. I have slipped into the dress my grandmother wore on her wedding day. I have sat for hours upon hours watching my grandmother patch clothing while she told me stories of her childhood. I have sang and hopped in afternoons full of double dutch. I have prayed to a blue-eyed Jesus, well, in a church that was built before my grandparents were born, gazing at placards of devotion in memorium of people who died from diseases that have since been eradicated. This has spanned less than four decades. A blip in the inhale exhale of man.

As I ironically sit at a laptop typing to invisible eyes, I miss nostalgia. In the day of blogs, facebook, twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, I wonder, who are we compiling these memories for? When scrapbooking came back en vogue, I scoffed at it visibly, ever jealous that I knew I lacked such focus and dedication and follow through. It was time sucking, overly involved and  a cosumerist industry I had no time or desire for. After all, I had to go to work to pay for my wifi so I could spend my work day telling complete strangers what I ate for lunch.

Even at 38 years old, I adore a good scar story. I spend dreamy hours in vintage shops. I prefer clothing worn previously by a friend or stranger. I secretly pine for the day I get my grandmother’s dishes “over my mom’s dead body.” But what do I do with all this information, experience, and memory? Do I sit my niece down and try to explain the discomfort of shoulder pads in the 80s? Do I show her how we used to entertain ourselves…*gasp* OUTSIDE with only rocks, bugs and each other? Do I teach her how to roll biscuits and make frosting from scratch while I teach her the Polish word for “butt”? I’d like to say I do, but more often that not, I log her onto my Facebook. Within an hour of seeing each other, she’ll unfailingly ask if I have any new kitty pictures or videos or to show her my friend’s kids’ pictures ONLINE.

Though I’m not a mother, as an inhabitant of Earth, aren’t I obligated to pass the past the way our ancestors did? Word, written or ideally, spoken. Songs from my grandmother reminiscent of Sweden, my childhood church hyms declaring the joy joy down in my heart, and double dutch marches giving nods to jeans that we couldn’t afford but everybody wanted. My haphazard version of the Polka. My 76 pound photobox.  My ability to make and color play clay from scratch. Are these things still valuable if their not POSTED? Are we LIVING the experiences we share with anonymous masses via social networking? When you finish a collection on Pinterest or Instagram or WordPress, will you print them out and tangibly share them with our little people? Or will we, our collections, memories and existence all fade into the virtual nothingness that calls us “friend” or even worse, “follower?”

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