I had a dream recently about coming upon a room hidden away under a staircase, cloaked by boxes and the usual debris of a basement. I worked my way through the camouflage to the door, opened it, invaded the space and discovered what could have been telltale signs of gambling, or could have just been evidence of someone’s need to be alone to play cards.
That seemed to be the mystery. Had I discovered someone’s secret- that is nefarious- life, or had I stumbled upon someone’s private thoughts and need to keep his own counsel?
Which brings me to this question: How much of ourselves are we expected to divulge and how much are we allowed to keep to the privacy of our own heart, mind or soul?
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I like getting mail from an old friend, or a new friend, don’t you?
Now that Post Offices are threatened with extinction and the romantic picture of a fearless messenger riding across the prairie on his sturdy steed has fallen into the realm of fairy tale, we (humans, that is) like to get mail.
Perhaps not as textile and tangible as opening a letter written in the distinctive handwriting of someone you know, e-mails serve a similar purpose. It is vogue in certain circles, though, to decry the use of the internet as impersonal, cold, and a vehicle for turning the younger generation into isolated creatures who have lost the power of speech.
I have discovered myself to be a defender of the internet. To anyone who knows me well, like my husband, this may be a bit of a surprise. For years I was so anti-tech that Gene dubbed my laptop “Quill” (as in quill pen) to affectionately poke fun at my lack of technical skill or curiosity, for that matter. But— wonder of wonders—- word processing entered my world, so that now when I write something I can correct it without having to start all over on a fresh paper in the typewriter. Waste baskets do not overflow like they used to with discarded drafts at inexpert stabs at creativity!
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At a family celebration last evening, my daughter Katie, who finds it necessary to remind her parents of their increasing age, proclaimed that I am their ‘link to history’, since I am the oldest member of our little tribe. She said this while holding her 6 month old son on her lap.
Link to history, eh? I’ll take that. She joked of the days of rotary telephones and black and white TV. The old days, natch. Well, sure. Though my father is hanging on at the age of 90, I am a link to my children and now grandchild, to the family stories and events of not only the years I grew up, but the means of passing down the stories that I absorbed from my parents and grandparents. View full article »