odds and ends from a life under construction

the memory keeper

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We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect. – Anaïs Nin

I started my first blog in college. It’s only mildly embarrassing to admit that this was in the days before blogging software that made things like archives and comments easy, so I sat in my dorm computer lab each night (back then, we also didn’t get sent off to college with our own laptops), duplicating HTML pages and randomly updating unordered lists of all my posts. This was also in the days where blinking text was not only acceptable but popular, and many people went out of their way to find animated GIFs to post with their text – preferably something that sparkled. And when I was done making each post look as garish as possible, I’d upload everything via FTP to my Geocities account (I was a homesteader in the College Park “neighborhood,” if that rings anyone’s bells).

I learned my lessons, and by the time I left college I had a proper Blogger blog like everyone else. And there I updated, year after year, milestone after milestone – every bad haircut, random shopping trip, song in my head, and cryptic comment for “someone special” were recorded for the world to see. Looking back, so much of what I wrote was trivial. Sometimes it was little more than a link to Exploding Dog to sum up how my day was going. But it was all there, and it lived long past the point at which life took over and my updates became less and less frequent. The site has moved from host to host and even domain to domain several times, but it’s always worth a laugh and even the occasional shedding of tears to look back via the Wayback Machine and see what, at the time, seemed so terribly important it was worth posting online.

And then I had a child. And all those things – all those trivialities that amused my friends and meant little to just about anyone else – suddenly became a powerful record of me at a collection of moments in time. As I took my most recent trip down memory lane, I realized – I want my child to have this, too. I want him to be able to ask me, “Mom, what was the day I was born like?” or “Mom, when was my first trip to the zoo.” I realize I could keep an offline journal like most sane people, but after more than a decade of living an online life – and even meeting my husband there – it seems almost unnatural not to post the record of our comings and goings to the virtual cloud.

And so begins this new venture – a place to talk about myself, my child, my family, my friends, and our lives together. Because I want the life Anaïs Nin talks about – the life lived in the moment and in again in remembrance. And hopefully, for everyone else, it’s worth tasting.

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