Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I'd Like to Have Back

Day 4 (2012 Was Freaking Awesome!)
I missed 2012 (2009) at the theater -- first one thing, then another came up and before I knew it, the film had gone to DVD. I saw it last night for the first time and while it was enjoyable, I was also glad I saved my brass for another day. The human story was a little weak and it reminded me too much of Independence Day (1996). It was kind of like, how many ways can director Roland Emmerich find to destroy the planet?

Aside from that, I woke up this morning thinking about the premise for the film and wondered what I would take if I had the opportunity to board one of the arks with basically what could fit into my backpack. What would I be unwilling to part with? Now, for the sake of argument, we're not including people or animals because that's an entirely different issue. I'm also assuming a day or two preparation time.

The first thing that came to mind was my laptop and back-up drive because they contain everything I've written as well as the accumulation of my medical education up to now. The next thing was photographs. I have several albums filled with photos of my family going back three generations, mostly inherited from my mother and aunt. Too many to take, I'd have to triage them, loading some into my computer and selecting others to keep as print copies. Why photos? Because if I was fortunate enough to have children in the New World, I'd want to be able to show them where they came from.

At this point, things start getting sticky. I've only got so much room and it's a matter of choosing between items of personal value and those that would render me more useful aboard ship as well as when we struck land. You have to consider that we're building a world from scratch and the question becomes, how can I maximize my contribution? From a medical standpoint, I'd want the contents of my doctor's bag, and as a minister, my minister's manual and Bible. We're going to need doctors and you can bet there will be a great deal of counseling and therapy to be done.

An electronic reader, storing the books I've come to love would save a lot of space, but it will be years before we publish real ones. I'd want a copy of my own, of course, but also a Greek New Testament my father covered in fine leather. Couldn't I have one fo those on my reader? Yes, but I'd like my children to see and handle the kind of work their grandfather performed.

So much would have to be left behind, but forcing oneself to think in terms of what is most essential puts it all in perspective. What seems to matter the most are those items that represent more than just themselves. A teddy bear from my childhood, a box containing ashes of beloved pets, my mother's engagement ring. I doubt there's room for a guitar, but I'd try to take one aboard anyway.

In the end, I have an idea there would be far less in my backpack than I initially imagined, partly due to the blessings of electronic storage. Much of what I've gathered or retained over the years isn't all that essential. Sure, they are things that meant something at one time and still do, but most I wouldn't miss in twenty years. In a situation like this, one has to think about what they'd like to have back, if there was a chance to obtain it. For me, that means the stuff of my past I would like to preserve in order to offer it to the future. Put in those terms, choices gain in importance, but perhaps become simpler as well.

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