Saturday, June 13, 2020

Words Without Lineage or Legacy

About three years ago, I purchased a small, handheld video camera to carry around and record some thoughts. For the most part, it remained in a camera bag alongside a nice, handheld digital audio recorder that I purchased a few years prior to carry around record some thoughts… Yeah, you hear where this is going already, no?

All in all, the camera bag typically got more use holding those items than carrying them.  After all, it does require a dedicated effort to haul around that extra gear in day-to-day life ~ and besides, there was the smart phone, which does at least an adequate job of taking ordinary photos, videos, and simple voice recordings when the inspiration hits...

Still though, the cellphone lacks that certain gravitas I had in mind for those musings I imagined I'd want to record.  That level of importance would require forethought and preparation, assembling my thinking in advance, preparing the gear, ensuring I had a suitable place with adequate lighting for film and sufficient quiet for sound, all of that plus the necessary privacy to avoid interruption or heckling during the process. It would also mean I'd need to set aside the time alone afterward to process it all into something worthy of delivery.

In retrospect, I might have predicted that those items would never make it beyond the "script" stage ~ or, as I like to call them today, the "blog posts.”  Checking the stats, I see I have well over 300 posts here on Sword Mountain, spanning back about ten years, including around 25 posts living in the Drafts folder, likely not to be revisited.  Each post was either written for Sword Mountain itself or was an import from two or three other blog sites in consolidation.  There are still two or three other specialty blogs out there with unrelated content, each holding several large bags of words. There were also several social media accounts with everything from pithy nonsense to photos and video, most deleted or curated out of existence.  There are also several notebooks-slash-journals stacked here and there, many returned to the universe as burnt offerings from any number of the fire pits.  There were also computer files scattered about with similar content, most dragged & dropped into the trash can without the equivalent "in real life" satisfaction.

There is no shortage of my words scattered about, but as I grow older I become more keenly aware of the shortage of readers.  That became more pressing as I approached the age my father was when he passed and I reflected upon how little I really knew about him, now a man my own age, with his own hopes, dreams, sacrifices, achievements, and disappointments.  My purchase of that video camera was in part to help remedy that feeling, to help make the content more digestible in an era where it seems fewer read, but the habit didn't take hold.  Frankly, it left me feeling a little more removed from the people I would have liked to have reached.  So, instead, there were more posts to the blogs and more late-night scratching into notebooks with my cheap fountain pens.

My words ultimately are without lineage: They have no authority, nor anything else of note that compels anyone to read them.  Further, my words offer no legacy: They're just an ordinary fellow's musings without inherent value, inspiring no desire to possess them.  And all of that is... okay: I'll continue to write because I write ~ no big deal. Moreover, in retrospect, the lessons I took, for instance, from my father, were available precisely when I needed them, most well after his death, and few if any from anything he said or tried specifically to convey. That is the nature of these things, no? That may be the teaching for this lineage, and ~ as as legacies go ~ it’s received in time.

Now regardless of the words, there is still the voice. I’m reminded that, to some, it conveys more than any of my words ever could.  So I've taken to recording more as a practice.  Eventually, I may find my rhythm, improve both my delivery and my technical skills, and settle from pretentious delivery into conversational ease, 

And who knows? Maybe it will be heard. You know, like that tree falling in the forest. We’ll see.

In the meantime, listen to listen to this post, and check that YouTube channel to find some others that may be available.

No comments: