Sunday, October 02, 2005

After The Fact

I’ve stepped back in time and made a minor change in yesterday’s post. I often do this, tweaking the writing for clarity or what I imagine to be a greater felicity of style. This morning’s change is so slight that I doubt anyone will notice it, and it certainly doesn’t change the meaning of what I wrote.

This raises an interesting question, though. Personal journals, whether they are old fashioned diaries or modern web logs, are more than dispatches to the world about our daily comings and going. Whether they are intended so or not they become the psychological engines by which we become explicitly conscious of our own lives.

This needs a little explanation.

We don’t go through our daily lives like automata, but our consciousness is directed outward, toward the puzzles, activities and challenges of those lives rather than inward toward the acting self. I’m pretty sure that it is only in reflection after the act that we become fully, explicitly, conscious of the self that did all that acting.

That said, I leave you with this question: Should we ever return to yesterday’s diary to change, however slightly, the examination of our lives? How much more interesting…at least for ourselves…to make those corrections, however slight, in our next diary entry.

A re-evaluation is one thing, but simply changing yesterday’s record is forging history.

What do you think?

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