Reflections: OUR TRANSCRIPTS
“As human beings, we are the genetic elite, the sentient, contemplating and innovating sum of countless genetic accidents and transcription errors.” Ayumi Hamasaki
If you’ve ever had to empty a home you’ve lived in for many years, you’d relate to this piece because, invariably, as we pack up, clear out, and clean up years of memories, good and not so good, we discover folders, letters and other accoutrements that once held center stage in our lives. We cling to these life scripts because they once informed important parts of our lives. Each day, as I clear out my bookshelves and drawers, I stumble across old files and papers that bring back a flood of memories of school days, bygone friendships, classes and hobbies, and missives from friends and family. A few days ago, I found a pink folder that held pictures of my twins, from their pre-k days, on school trips. There were pictures of me as I prepared to embark on a new career in real estate, notes from my acting teacher at HB Studio, and study notes from my graduate school days.
The study notes included summaries I had scribbled, in the tiniest handwriting, as I prepared for my certification exams in my doctoral studies… plus, a beautiful note from one of my dearest friends, Mary, congratulating me on passing my exams. I marveled at how well I had kept these notes, and I re-read the advice my acting teacher offered me. Would I have prepared for the scenes with more depth if I were older? Would I have been less hurried to try something else? Who knows… but, what stirred me was the fact that the information in the fading blue notebook, the scraps of paper, and the congratulatory note carried some weight that made me cling on to them a bit longer…
“The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.” T. S. Eliot
I sat down, opened the blue notebook, and started reading through it. I even came across notes I had taken from a woman at a psychic fair who was offering readings for “entertainment.” It was amusing to read the advice she gave me… some of it was spot on and others were laughable. I got comfortable in my chair, and spent some time studying them all. It struck me as fascinating that we cling to things even years after the experiences and memories have faded. We might even forget many of those experiences until a slip of paper, an old letter or faded photos resurface to remind us of times past. All of these notes, cards, and photos add to our transcript or our record of crucial steps taken at different points in our lives; they give some form and foundation to our existence.
As I pondered the collection and carefully sifted through them, I wondered what our children and their peers would turn to as keepsakes. What would they cling to? Sadly, in the digitized age we inhabit, we would most likely see less and and less of such life scripts. While my generation looks at these notes as collectibles, my kids and their millennial generation might view them as disposables. Does it matter? How do we pass on our transcripts or hand written collectibles to a generation that prefers instant communication and vanishing snap-chats? How do we convince them that the moments we captured on printed paper, of life and its complexities, were compelling?
This post was inspired by a Daily Post prompt – CLING – and a Discover Challenge prompt: – TRANSCRIPT — For this week’s challenge, we ask that you, too, take something ephemeral and non-digital and bring it to your blog for all of us to enjoy and reflect on. Of course, not all of us have access to a collection of century-old journals. So let’s define “transcribing” as broadly as possible: you could share an old photo from your childhood album, or snap a photo of a handwritten note from your best friend when you were 11. Record yourself singing a tune that hasn’t made it to iTunes, draw a sketch of your favorite room in your grandparents’ house, or simply write down a memorable conversation that would otherwise be lost to time. I can’t wait to see what you dig up from your own archives, whether physical or memory-based. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.
Positive Motivation Tip: Your life scripts hold memories cherish them