No, this isn’t a post about where I was 10 years ago today because there just isn’t anything notable or extraordinary about watching the news in a giftbook publisher/photo album designer’s breakroom.
Pretty much everyone who had consciousness remembers where they were 10 years ago today, of course. But it makes me sad to realise just how many people don’t recall other moments of their lives that were JUST as formative in their world as 9/11/01 was to the world in general.
That’s exactly why I’m thankful for Facebook. I realise that it’s customary and somewhat de rigeur in certain circles to deride Facebook as useless or a waste of time, and like anything else it can be bad for you if you overindulge. But I’ve reconnected with so many people who have been very important to me over the years and we’ve used Facebook to share those vital memories, fill in the gaps in others recollection and, in some cases, heal old wounds. It’s a way to reach not only across distance but across time and that is a remarkable gift.
In talking about those old memories with friends it is both a lot neat and a little creepy to see how they viewed things that loomed large in my world, small in theirs. We had an English teacher our senior year who changed the world for me. He was the first person to actively appreciate my creative writing* and became my friend. He visited me at my job selling ice cream cones at the mall and talked about his upcoming marriage and my upcoming college sojourn. We were both on the cusp of something larger and it was good to talk it out with a like-minded person, another writer. Of course nobody else in my senior class seemed to remember him at all. To them he was just the guy in the bow-ties who took over when Miss Stouffer left.
Before I became ill I had an eidetic memory. Now I have what they tell me is a “normal” memory, and while it is restful at times it is also sad. Not unlike losing old photo albums to flood and fire. Of course I think having good memory skills is a boon to being a writer, and I’m always curious about how other writers perceive their ability to remember.
I wish I remembered to think of a clever conclusion to this post, so that it could end well and truly and leave something edifying in its wake. As it is I suppose now I just have to trail off and sign off and go make things that I’ll remember tomorrow.
(*outside of my parents who were just thrilled with the “books” I wrote them as a 4 year old.)