19 year-old Time Capsule
Sweeping up the egg shells left behind in the nest by their messy hatchlings, my folks will periodically give me boxes full of “my stuff” to take away from the basement room where I once lived, a couple of decades ago. Most of it I will toss away (must… resist… urge… to… re-archive… into… another… basement….), although some of it will get “processed” first and even incorporated into this here Meme Menagerie digital scrapbook. Browsing through recently unearthed material from the Spira Permanent Collection, I came across some of my old writings from September-December 1992, mostly related to courses I took at Vanier CEGEP, aka Quebec’s Crazy Mashup of Senior Year High School and Freshman Year of College, aka High School With Ashtrays, aka My Great Academic Awakening. These writings are printed on paper either by pencil, pen or the unfaded ink of my Apple ImageWriter with those nifty Mac Plus fonts (Athens, Chicago, New York, Toronto, Venice, all good… and even San Francisco once in a while… never was a fan of Los Angeles, but then what do you expect from a nascent Comic Sans snob?) . There’s probably a 3.5″ disk somewhere out there with the MacWrite content on it, but at this point the easiest thing to do — for the purposes of building the backwards-blog section of the Menagerie — is to scan and/or transcribe bits of the paper output rather than resurrect the source data from its Mac System 7 operating system tomb (extracting dinosaur DNA from fossilized mosquito saliva in amber would be easier). Yeah, in the scheme of the cosmos, it’s all transient anyway… but for now, long live paper-based media… and WordPress. In any event, here are some reflections on this stuff that I wrote 19 years ago, stuff that I don’t remember writing but apparently wanted to keep for use at some later date. I will honor late-teen Danny Spira by looking back at, interpreting and drawing insights from his writing… now with double the years behind me… and maybe… just maybe… a different perspective on things:
- Rule #1 : Everything has already been already written… and already written better than you or I are about to write it. We shouldn’t let this stop us from writing, though.
- Rule #2: No matter how good we think our writing is, no matter how profound we think our ideas are, there’s someone out there who is going to read it and think it was written by the intellectual equivalent of a self-important 19-year-old.
- Rule #3: I tend to repeat myself, especially when observed over long periods of time. Shorter periods of time, too.
- Rule #4: My best friends and favorite books from the ages of 17 – 23 had a profound effect on who I am. Some I’ll readily admit to (HT Nareg!) …others, not as much.
- Rule #5: Pieter Sijpkes wasn’t completely wrong that most people only have one idea…. it’s more like two or three ideas, but still…
- Rule #6: Why am I writing these observations as “rules,” anyway? (Going “meta” is an example of Rule #5 above, just sayin’…) Does this exercise risk me getting infected by the fossilized saliva of a teenager, devolving me into an earlier form?
To summarize, as written by hand, apparently on “12/29/92 @ 9:47:43pm 3rd Dimension:”
MAYBE I SHOULD START WRITING DOWN THESE REVELATIONS – I’M FOOLING MYSELF TO BELIEVE THAT I REMEMBER EVERYTHING… (…) The problem is, while this writing does indeed help me structure my thoughts, I’m always three or four thoughts ahead of what my head is endeavoring to do. (…) Hmm…. then again, this delay in being able to relay my thoughts probably helps me IMPRINT them better, and the so-called “inefficiancy of communication” is integral to the process of understanding and memory/association/integration that we call my noggin’. (aha.)
Ah, good times. There may not be a reason to any of this, but at least it rhymes…