I've left up the memorial to my friend Muriel "Mimi" Monette for almost two months because I think it was the thing to do and because I was shocked to see that nowhere else was her passing noted. Not that I am saying that her family should have posted something in the Paid Death Notices section of the paper, I'm just commenting that the lady should have something. We all should have something. One of the things that Mimi never really "got" was the internet. She liked writing letters. I agree with her; there's something wonderful about pulling out some lovely paper from Crane or Smythson and a good pen and composing a note. I enjoy doing it as much as I enjoy receiving it. I tried to explain to her that while email, IM, blogging and social websites are ephemeral by nature, they are just the modern version of vellum and fountain pen, an illusion of intimacy perhaps but keeping friendships vibrant in ways heretofore not possible. I have a great friend who will most likely be taking a job in New York, which cuts me to the quick until I realise that we've seen each other in person over the past year a handful of times. I have another good friend who might be moving back here after years away, and the way we've been keeping the sense of immediacy in our relationship is through email and the like.
Of course, all of these things are in their nature ephemeral. All of my deathless scribblings on Blogspot will disappear after I've stopped posting for while I suppose. Not logging into Yahoo after a year I assume my mails will go away and the same will happen to dotmac when I stop paying for the service. But having drive past Mimi's denuded apartment today I thought she was wrong. Everything we do is ephemeral. The Pyramids stand but who knows who built them?
I suppose the question is that if everything we do as akin to writing in the sand at the tide line, should we bother? For that I again go back to Mimi; she took pleasure as much in the creating as the money and recognition of having created, and the experiences that the process allowed her to enjoy.
So I will continue to write in the cyber-sand, if only for myself. I hope you do as well.