Dec 27, 2009

The Digital Divide

Yesterday, I wrote about going paperless.  Today, I've backpedaled.  The act of keeping or not keeping, storing or not storing, archiving or not archiving is a weighty matter.

The beginning of my digital journey consisted of ridding myself of notebooks filled with articles, announcements and invitations.  Christmas Eve, the last notebook on the shelf called to me.  One more to go.  Filled with odds and ends from my parents house.  Here was stationery from my father's business, birthday cards from my grandparents, invoices for an oriental carpet in the living room of my childhood home, lists of presents for friends and relatives to be purchased on a European trip in my mother's hand, fabric samples from when my parents redecorated the dining room with drawings of the chairs by my father (see photo), business letters my father had composed and report cards from my elementary school.  Maybe this was my Christnas stocking.

I really wanted to clear the decks.  But I couldnt throw this stuff out.  I thought about scanning all these mementos.  It would be so much more accessible to have them available digitally. I resisted. I knew it wouldnt be satisfying. I liked the "objects". I enjoyed taking them out of their sleeves and touching the frail paper and looking at the handwritten entries in a savings book.  A record of love and future hopes.

Had old age set in?  Was sentimentality talking hold?  Did I need therapy to deal with an attachment disorder?

I would like to be more Zen and focus more on the heart then the hand, but I still feel the tug of human records made on paper.


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