A few nights ago, I met a friend afterwork and we talked about life after death. In the dark restaurant, my mind wandered back to a conversation with one of the Asian women leaders I interviewed for my research study. During the interview, the participant explained she had been learning about Buddhism and was trying to live a purposeful life. She calmly said, “The day I was born…I was doomed to die.” There was no cynicism or despair in her voice. And while her words were tough for me to hear, I knew this was an undeniable truth.
Over the years, I’ve made friends both in person and later connected on social media. I have lost friends who are no longer alive but their profiles still exist online. It’s comforting to know that I can seek out their virtual identity. In some ways, social media allows us to solidify our existence for a brief moment in time.
In June, as traveled cross-country, we saw ancient petroglyphs near a small town in Utah. The figures were etched along the wall of red rock in a canyon. The drawings belonged to the Fremont people who lived in Central Utah from 600-1250 A.D. It was hard to tell what those drawings mean. They could be self-portraits or they may be scenes from stories they shared with one another.
Each day, many of us capture images, thoughts, emotions and share ourselves with the virtual society. I can’t help but think… hundreds of years from now, will some entity stumble across our messages and be curious? Or will they be confused? I wonder what compels us to share ourselves. Do we share so we can connect… not only to those who are here now but to those who may come across our messages in the future?
Sego Canyon, Utah, June 2017. FujiFilm FinePix X100.
Categories: Airstream Bambi Trips