There are days when I wonder if my words have value. What I write seems not memorable, not important in the grand scheme of things. But when I mentioned Samuel Pepys 1665 diary a couple of days ago, I was glad to have his generous gift to a future he could not have imagined. He had ink and paper, no machine, no online audience. Could he even imagine that all these years hence we would read about his daily life, its domestic pleasures, his politics, his survival in deadly times? It feels to me a gift.
The printing press might well have been a wonder in his life, the way this modest laptop is in mine. When I question my drive to journal, to blog, to create poems and fiction, I don’t look far ahead into the long, long future. But a book often outlives its maker, as has Pepys diary, and the result is words again shared, some in the wonderful heft of a printed book, some stashed in a niche of the web, but offered for whatever purpose the reader might have. The future is here, and ahead of me is perhaps a long sharing of what have you from one mind to another. Most days it’s a gamble worth taking.