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The Permanence Of The Written Word

In these times, words are fleeting. They are typed out, often to accompany an image or to update a status. They are binged by your fellow consumer before sinking to the bottom of the feed, never to be seen again- except by the creeping jealous ex, stalking fresh meat until their eyes bleed.

 

We all do it. We all have our laptops; I’m presently typing these words on my own. It’s not negative, but it is temporary. Of course there is the cloud, there are old emails that can be retrieved years after the fact, there are ways to store the words we type that is simply incomprehensible to our human minds.

 

There is a difference, though, when writing in a notebook with your stainless steel mechanical pencil. There’s a difference in your body-mind connection, but what stands out is the feeling of permanence that comes from the ancient art of putting ink on a page. Even a misspelling, a word that has been crossed out, the genuine messiness of human nature, is captured in a way that makes you feel like it will last forever. Like, if an alien species comes to earth in 1000 years, finding nothing left but buried hints of a civilization, maybe they’ll stumble upon your notebook and feverishly work to decipher the words describing the bad mood you were in during breakfast in 2019. The fierce scribble over choosing the wrong word only deepens the understanding of our beautiful flaws.

 

Whether it’s chronicling a progressing relationship, or trying to wrap your head around a fight; whether it’s immortalizing a brief interaction or a the way the stars twinkled in the sky that night; it’s easy to imagine your words, your experiences, being passed into the hands of younger generations as your story paints an everlasting picture of who, exactly, you were.

 

We work on the computer, we socialize on our phones, but we live on the page. We choose little bits of our lives and we commemorate them, writing them into existence for centuries to come. It’s a beautiful process that deepens our understanding of ourselves; but more importantly, tells our story eternally