Lots of interesting pictures chosen at random (many won’t upload) from the family history project. The first couple is of my sister’s (youngest) graduation from Indiana University. The rest are of the kids from various events. You’ll notice all of the pictures seem to have a frame. They were taken from a scrapbook that my wife made of the kids when they were little. Well, when she made the scrapbook, they were little. I guess that is a book for that moment. But that is the perfect lead-in for a partial retraction from what I posted yesterday. As was pointed out to me in comments, there are memories we don’t share. Each of us maintains a store of memories that are never shared. I have many of those myself.
The reality of memories is more than the memories we share and memories we don’t share. The era of Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and other sites has created an artificial sharing reality. There are things we don’t share. Those deeply personal moments that unshared remain so, unshared. We don’t trot them out like show ponies at the circus. We keep them inside and share them infrequently. I posted yesterday that unshared memories are less and I didn’t mean it that way. What I meant to say was that the commonly shared memories are the ones that end up biased when we are the third or fourth person to reach out to publish or talk about and create an oral history of an event.
Not sure that makes sense, but it is as much that moments have two states. The first is the unshared state. Some memories, feelings, moments will never leave that state. Some memories that do leave that state, however, have to be shared fairly. All of us have a bias, and that bias makes our memories imperfect. Sharing out memories is critical, but we also need to point out our bias. My apologies for conveying a biased message yesterday. It was not my intent. It was simply an application of the process my mother always uses “it’s your memory.” When you speak as though what you are saying is fact, sometimes it comes across wrong. For example what I said yesterday wasn’t meant the way it came out. There are memories we don’t share. Those are personal and should only be shared when we feel safe enough to do so. Once, you connect and share that memory with another person, remember to declare your own bias first!