What Remains. An Ode to Paper

Filed Under (To Get To The Other Side) by Estee on 27-10-2009


I love paper. I am noticing just how much by moving from one house to another. I have boxes and boxes of it. I have old stories. I keep every journal I’ve ever written. I have The Toronto Star of when man first landed on the moon and it’s in perfect shape. I keep reports, notes, love letters and cards. I love flipping through old books of my writing and feeling the weight of the pages with ink on them, not to mention the sound. And let’s not mention the smell of old books!

Speaking of moving, I’ve also kept a series of old computers. Remember those? The ones where I could actually write in the code (MS Dos, Wordperfect)and understand where it was going to take me? I owned a very small computer when I was living in Europe fifteen years ago — the year before I met Adam’s father. I did a lot of writing back then. Now that life has taken another turn, I enjoy going through old pictures, journals and I thought it would be really exciting to look up my old writing on the old computer. If paper and these “artifacts” are all that remains when I am gone, then I feel it is good for the soul while we are living to review where we have been.


I can’t get into the thing. I can’t remember the code to the old programs. So I got to thinking — what of all this data stored on blogs, the Internet that we think will never disappear? I can tell you, just fifteen years — ONLY FIFTEEN YEARS — seems like over one hundred. Heck, it might as well be ten thousand years or more — we can dig up old parchment and read cave walls better than we can get into my old Compaq.

What artifacts will be left behind of our thoughts, our writings, our ideals, our achievements if we put them all on computers — the ones that change in time spans of one year, never mind a lifetime?

I love writing on the blog, but I will never ever get rid of paper.


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.