if shakespeare’s mom kept a scrapbook

wouldn’t that be amazing?

I’ve just started reading Shakespeare by Bill Bryson.  What boggles my mind is how little is actually known about Shakespeare and how little evidence there is of his life.  One portrait painted during his lifetime that might be him and  “Although he left nearly a million words of text, we have just fourteen words in his own hand – his named signed six times and the words “by me” on his will”.

When you think of the amount of time we spend documenting our own lives via photographs, videos, scrapbooks, blogs, letters, diaries, and various other digital and analog forms, it seems even more incredible.  I often wonder what future archeologists will think of us and the amount of information about ourselves that we collect, document and save.

I have to admit I’m not the best about saving things and I’ve really not done any scrapbooking.  I’ve done a few little books of specific events – more of a craft project really.   I’d like to, and admire people who are that organized but I’m just not.  I’m not sure why.  I loved looking through the photo albums of my childhood and at the scrapbooks that my mom had us put together with school work and birthday cards.  Sadly those things are gone now. 

And that is just what they are. Things.  Do I want to save boxes and boxes of things for my kids to take with them when they leave?  Or just a few things.  Or just make sure that we spend as much time as we can creating memories.  There must be a balance somewhere and I think about it with each piece of schoolwork that comes home, each piece of art, each holiday together, each vacation.

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Comments 2

  1. Flicka April 21, 2010

    I love this, Dawn. I think you\’re right that they may be just things in the end – although amusing, experiences and memories mean so much more to me.

  2. Sophie April 21, 2010

    I\’ve come to the realization that I will never be much of a scrapbooker, and yes, much of it is just STUFF. but I do keep a few things…for each kid, I keep a legal-sized manila envelope for each year of school. In that I put a few examples of work they\’ve done, and any random drawings, awards, etc that come home. Ticket stubs and a program from a field trip to a theater, that sort of thing. But no more than I can fit in one envelope. The art teacher puts all their artwork in a bound book at the end of the year and sends that home, too. That way, we have a few things saved and labelled for them if they decide they want it in the future, but not more than I know what to do with, and nothing sitting around waiting for me to "finish the project"! When I read your post, though, I was wondering how many people these days leave much of themselves written in their own hand? I mean, I keep a sort of random journal and write copiously, but a lot of what we leave behind these days is electronic. For most of it, that\’s fantastic since so much of it is trivial anyway…but fewer and fewer people will be inheriting a chest full of their grandmother\’s journals, for example.

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