Saturday, July 11, 2009

What will we leave?

I truly believe we are all creative in some way. Whether we are writers, bakers or candlestick makers we all have something to contribute to life. The trick is, who do we affect and what are we leaving behind.

As historians we are looking at newspapers, diaries, letters, any first hand information we can find. Writers use that same information to ask 'what if'. For me there is nothing so exciting as to hold a piece of paper that someone a hundred years ago also handled. Perhaps they were writing a letter. Maybe they were just jotting down the grocery list. It is a tangible reminder of their lives. When I hold a quilt made by my great-grand mother, I remember her and my great-grandfather. Their faces become familiar again. The stories they told and lessons they taught are remembered. As long as I live so will their lives be remembered. When I am gone, what will be left? Sure someone could read this blog and perhaps it will trigger a memory of their own, but not Ertie and Oliver.

Perhaps in the future, there will be no paper. Good for the trees, perhaps not so good for those who follow. Cyber space is great, we all use it and they benefits are amazing. Still, where are the letters we no longer write? Where would we be if the founding mother and fathers had not written those wonderful letters? Will we be leaving anything? How will we be remembered a 100 years from now? What will be our legacy?

When you write that book, crochet that shawl or create that new banana bread recipe, perhaps it would be wise to also note why you created what you did. Leave a message for the future. It may make a difference in someones view of who we were.


Gwyn Ramsey said...

A very good article. Our writing is our legacy we leave for future generations. It is hard to believe that books will eventually disappear and only cyber space will replace the written word. That would be a great loss.

Gwyn Ramsey

Anne Randolph said...

This answers the question as to whether we should throw away our notebooks filled with writing, our handwritten journals, our untyped poems. What we write by hand is our legacy, replacing letters. To have boxes of writing is a good thing.
Anne Randolph

Heidiwriter said...

Wonderful thoughts. We don't write letters any more, just quick e-mails. I save e-mails from my family, but how many of us do that? And then there's the inevitable computer crash... And I hate throwing away things that belonged to my grandparents and parents.


Mary E. Trimble said...

Doris, what a thought-provoking article. You're right--we have resorted mostly to cycerspace for communicating. How will we be remembered? Good food-for-thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doris,
I've thought of that so often. I keep notebooks, indexed even, of
things the kid's or grandkid's said or did, funny or poignant stories I've heard, and special things that have happened in my life or the lives of others. I keep all family Christmas letters. Do some of you already send Christmas letters by e-mail? Eunice Boeve