This morning I woke with the sudden urge to remember everything of note that I’ve done.I soon realised that for me the past is not as searchable as I would like. And the present seems pretty hard to sift through. When I was young I wrote a diary. From age 11 to 14 I’d write the days happenings in school exercise books. I’ve not seen them for maybe 15 years. I remember them not being massively interesting. “Climbed a tree.. Did my homework.. Fed the chickens.” From 1991 to 2000 I’d sporadically fill small moleskin notebooks with slightly more interesting tales as I worked my way round the world. Adventure was war, drink, death, luxury, buddhism, isolation, food, sickness, poverty, travel, friendship, music and joy. I still have these scrawled diaries. Crammed into a briefcase waiting to be typed up. Now I blog. Mostly in audio, sometimes in video, occasionally text. This morning I wanted to remember stories I had not thought about for years. Nothing came. I tend to need a nudge. Something someone will say will trigger a memory and everything relative to that point will come flooding back. Places do this, photos do this. As do smells. I forget what the psychological term for this is. I forget a lot. Especially as nowadays I entrust so much of my life to zeros and one’s. The stories I pass on orally appear more solid. As I rewrite them in my mind, they are also in the minds and on the tongues of those listening and sharing. Providing we keep sharing. The memories in my paper notebooks seem fragile, but if looked after could last longer than lifetimes. I have the strange feeling that the last 10 years of my digital archives could be snuffed out in an instant. That they just hang there, suspended in an electronic web or balanced on a silicon slice. I hope the future brings better ways to archive and retrieve our stories. Until then, we have to keep sharing in the hope the stories survive in their telling.
Talking, teaching and documenting using mobile tools. Running workshops and consulting worldwide with a focus on social technology.