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The prologue

April 17, 2010

I’ve had a book on my reading pile for a couple of months now, taunting me.  I’ve had other priorities for reading and couldn’t get to it, even though I desperately wanted to read it.  And last night, I finally started Donald Miller’s A Million Miles In A Thousand Years.  I’m already wowed.

I’m not wowed because I’m discovering new ideas in the book.  At least, not yet.  I’m wowed because Miller is talking about something that has bothered me for a long time.  The book is about story.  You know, the story of each of our individual lives, and what that story speaks.  And the first thing he says is that we don’t remember even a quarter of our lives.  The moments all just sort of dissipate because daily life isn’t memorable enough to remember everything, and so we end up remembering almost nothing.  Just random bits and pieces.

I often feel like I don’t have a story.  I know that’s not true.  But I don’t know that I have a story to tell, a story that really speaks of who I am and where I’ve been and what is important to me and why it should matter.  The moments are lost so easily.  At the time I think I’ll remember, just like all those boxes of old unlabeled photos about which I was sure I’d remember the date and the occasion.  Years later (and sometimes only hours later) I look back and realize the details have already vaporized.

In the first chapter of the book Miller speaks of a friend of his who didn’t want to forget his life, so he started writing down every single thing he could remember.  The guy had over 500 pages of memories written down.  Not all huge, important memories, but literally just things he remembers.  I think maybe that friend is smart.  He at least knows what sort of life he lived.  He knows he hasn’t forgotten it all.

I find myself wondering what it would be like to do that.  What if I just wrote down something I remembered?  It might not make good blog material.  It might not even have a point, other than I remember it.  It might be boring and maybe nobody would want to read it because it’s the tedium of someone else’s life and heck– if they’ve not remembered the tedium of their own, why would they want to read about the tedium of someone else’s?

Then again, why not?

I’m thinking of doing a little experiment.  I’m thinking of setting a goal that for one week I will each day write down something I remember from some point– any point– in my life.  I haven’t decided for sure yet.  What if all I can remember is the stuff I want to forget?  What if I don’t remember anything?  What if I discover that I’m way more boring than I ever dreamed?  That sort of stuff is possible.  But for a week it would be bearable.

I think.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joann permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:16 pm

    This is something that bothers me also. But often times, like you I dread remembering the bad things that I would like to forget, and often those are the things that I remember the most. I also fear that some of my memories aren’t mine, but just things that my family has repeated so often, I think I remember them about myself, and what if I don’t remember them correctly…That may not have been helpful commenting, but it is what it sparked in me…

  2. Jen permalink
    April 17, 2010 11:36 pm

    I really loved that book and gave it as college graduation gifts this year. Really, really important stuff to remember and keep reminding yourself over and over again.

  3. hopetuttle permalink
    April 18, 2010 2:31 pm

    All that is what I LOVE about PW. Her life isn’t glamorous in the least. She lives on a freaking farm in the middle of Kansas. But she LIVES in the moment-to-moment, and so when people read her blog, they actually want her life! It’s kind of crazy to say the least.

    You should definitely do the experiment. Piece your life together and see how just how fantastic of a story you have (because you DO)

  4. Mr. Sparky permalink
    April 18, 2010 10:43 pm

    I’d read it. I don’t know what goes on in your life when I’m away from you, ‘cept what you tell me. I wonder what I’ve been missing?

    • April 18, 2010 11:47 pm

      Pay no attention to the Super Suit under the bed. Or the cannon hidden under the deck.

  5. April 19, 2010 5:02 pm

    Everyone DOES have a story, and I love hearing them!

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