Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore.
I am moving across the country from New York City to Berkeley, California in August. So I need to throw things away.
I have a lot of pads of paper with notes on them. Some of them are from creative brainstorms. Others are attempts to think through and sort out my life, which has been stressful and confusing in the past couple of years.
I’m loathe to throw these away, since they seemed so important at the time and they are some of the truest record of who I was and am. Maybe some other time in a similar place in life I can look back on them and learn from my own past? Or maybe some descendant will one day scrape through digital archives and be curious about the anxieties of an early 21st century American?
Who am I kidding? These anxieties are some of the best documented and best preserved in history. I suppose there is always something to be said for adding to the available data on the subject.
Besides, I have already decided on this course of action. The preceding is a rationalization to cope with the myriad doubts that accompany such an act of…what sort of act is it? It is a way to cheat death, the little death that is permanent loss of a piece of oneself. Just as we can live on past death in the hearts of those that love and remember us, we are at a stage of society where we can live on past our death and indeed preserve our own youth in vast distributed memory banks.
Whether there is any permanence to such an extension of life remains to be seen. Perhaps our information that survives us will lurk in ghostly irrelevance. Maybe it will remain real through its minute influence on the vast digital/technological system to which we surrender more and more of the chores of life. Decomposed into topsoil for the new generation of ideas. Or maybe an apocalypse will cause a Judgment Day when only the worthy information is preserved or when nothing is preserved at all.
I’ve outpaced myself. What I originally set out to do has been sabotaged by my over-thinking of it. What remains is stubbornness, irony, absurdity, inquiry, and a small measure of craftiness.
From the notes:
I am losing people. Why? Because I am locked into a pattern.
What I need is a disciplined lack of regularity (noise).