Thirty years ago I spent the 4th of July wandering around pubs in Jerusalem barely aware of how the things that happened that summer would impact my life.
Sometimes I wonder what sort of impact havingÂ modern technologyÂ would have had upon my summer. The $40 dollar telephone call I made back home was the only time I spoke with my parents all summer long.
A five-minute call to say we had arrived and I was fine was the extent of real timeÂ communication other than the few letters we exchanged.
Mom was good about writing with regularity, but not me. I don’t think they got more than a six or seven letters, if that and since they often took more than a week to be delivered some showed up a week after I had returned home.
Since we didn’t have cellphones, tablets or laptops we didn’t spend our time with our heads bent over anxiously poring over text messages, emails or Words with Friends.
The Curse Of Homogeneity
Back then we didn’tÂ sufferÂ from the curse of homogeneity. We walked down streets that weren’t populated with stores and brands that looked the same in Tel Aviv as they did in New York, Omaha or Chicago.
You knew you had left the states and you felt like it too.
I paid close attention to the cash I had brought with me because if you ran out it wasn’t a simple matter of trying to convince your folks to cough up some more Shekels.
It was also different because I paid for almost all of my trip out of pocket so I was more conscious of the cost.
Thirty years later I ask myself if I am prepared to send my own children on the modern version of the trip and wonder if they are ready to go.
My teenager will be eligible to go next year but I haven’t figured out yet if I want to send him.
Not because of cost or safety, but because I wonder if he is ready for something like this.
He is more sheltered than I was then, some of that is because the world is different and some of it is because of how he has been raised.
If if doesn’t happen I won’t engage in self-flagellation for not having the cash to send him as much as I will for not preparing him for such a trip.
But I won’t waste energy wondering and worrying about it now because it is too far away to spend that much energy on and much can happen in a year.
Not to mention that it doesn’t have to happen next year, it can take place during high school or college. Although if push comes to shove I lean towards getting him there in high school.
It is the middle of the week and I am sitting in the rear of a coffee shop avoiding going back to work by pretending that people watching will lead to some kind of breakthrough for a story I am working on.
“I am a writer, not a dumb blogger. My words have real meaning.”
If he had been with us on that trip to Jerusalem we would have said he was a ‘preppy’ and probably made some crack about him being part of The Socs In The Outsiders.
His snotty attitude chapped my hide. I was tempted to go slap him.
“Fists are for real men, stay golden Pony Boy.”
I liked that line and I didn’t care if it made sense to him or anyone else but I did and do care about prison so I kept my thoughts to myself.
Besides I have spent far too much time teaching my children to ignore the nonsense that other people like to spew from their mouths so I didn’t respond.
Hell, he made such an impact upon me that it took almost a week for me to remember it happened and had I not decided to spend a few minutes writing today I don’t know if I would have remembered him at all.
But I did sit down and am writing so I decided that if I was going to write just for the heck of it I might look at my stats and share some of the posts that people have been clicking on more frequently here.
- What Is The Most Important Page On Your Blog
- The World’s Strongest Penis
- Other Places I Write
- There Are No Coincidences
Number three is a good reminder about theÂ Impermanence of blogging.
Every time you link to the guest posts you run elsewhere you have to remember to periodically check those links aren’t permanent.
If a blogger decides to hang up their keyboard you may find that your link is noÂ longer liveÂ and instead of people seeing you are a well-respected authority who has written all over the ‘Net your readers will discover a big empty hole in cyberspace.
Pro Tip: Save your guest posts on your own blog. If they are good enough to run elsewhere they are probably good enough to run on your blog too.
The Tales We Tell
The downside to not having hadÂ modern electronicsÂ on my trip was I didn’t record things with as much detail as I sometimes wish I had.
My memory is better than most people but I am human and fallible so I wonder what has been lost orÂ adjusted.
If the difference is in the details than the difference might be more significant than I would like it to be.
I spend the majority of my time in the present with a focus on the future and an eye to the past.
Sometimes I want to go back in time and revisit some of the thoughts from that moment and compare. Maybe it would be good and maybe it would be helpful, I don’t really know.
As a writer I want those details because I think it might help flesh out some of the tales we tell with more fact than fiction.
But who is to say that fact would make the content more creative or compelling than what we have to work with today.