Re: The Pause that Refreshes

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 16:10:57 MDT

On Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 09:46:11AM -0500, altamira wrote:
> I've kept written journals of my life since I was 13 or 14. Unfortunately I
> burned the earliest stuff because my mother was going into my room and
> reading my private papers.

Genuinely sad to hear that, Bonnie. I'm lucky enough to still have
everything I've written, and I'm *still* upset I don't have more.

> When I read the stuff I wrote when I was in my early 20's, I'm amazed at
> how stable my basic philosophy has been over the years. I'm also amazed at
> how my memory of specific events changes over time. In some cases, the
> change is due to a new interpretation I give past events as a result of
> gaining knowledge I didn't have before. In other cases, I remember certain
> moments clearly but separately from the context of daily life in which they
> were embedded when they occurred.

I've given a lot of thought to the extent to which I have remained
partly constant, and the unusual phenomenon of being fully aware of
ones development (to the point, in fact, where it is possible to fully
forsee how you will change over a given subsequent period, and yet still
have to actually live through it, breakdowns and all. I don't think this
*entirely* a matter of self-fulfilling prophecy).

> I've loved being a whole series of slightly different people, united by this
> basic philosophy. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could have
> all these different "selves"--the little child self, the teenaged self, the
> young-adult self, etc. in a room with each other at the same time. I think
> they'd like each other. I wonder if anyone has some "selves" that wouldn't
> get along well with their other "selves."

I'm proud to say that I believe each of my selves would be pleased
with the accomplishments of his successors, so far. And I'm reasonably
comfortable with my early selves. In fact, recently I found myself
finding a particularly clear pathway back to them.

On Millennium Eve [0], just as midnight passed, I recalled quite clearly
a moment from when I was eight, looking out of a classroom window with
a friend, as it dawned on us the reality that wow, we were going to see
the year 2000. I had wondered where I would be at the time...


[0] I was not on this list at that time. No doubt you all joined in the
rantings that there was nothing significant about this date, and/or that
the new millennium begins in Jan 2001. I was on the same side, but all
the same - the event became important *because* people felt that it was.
In my case, I had the good fortune to spend it with most of my closest
friends for the first time in a long while. Thus, it was a significant
turning point.

-----[ Martin J. Ling ]-----[ ]-----

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