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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Past Life
I was just listening, in the background, to an interview I conducted on April 12, 2004. I hadn't intended to do so, but realized that I should probably monitor the conversion process from tape to AIFF. It was an unsettling experience. On the one hand, I sound more or less the way I do now. On the other, almost everything that matters in my life has changed radically in the interim. And yet I am still here in Tucson, living in the same community that I described to my interviewee, who also spends much of his time in these parts. At times, I had the sense that I was hearing my own ghost, one who sounds like me, has my interests, yet has somehow managed to escape the hard realities of my current existence.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
From: e4q Date: April 14th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
how odd.

and to be able to hear the other you, literally.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 15th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I know. I had a similar sensation listening to a recording of the American poet Walt Whitman, made in 1890. In that case, the ghostliness had to do with the distance from my present. And, come to think of it, the same goes for hearing my own voice from a relatively recent yet emotionally far off past.
From: e4q Date: April 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i have this a lot now, but in a good way. since i started meditating seriously, what must be getting on for five years ago, now, i have been widening the gap between reactivity and response. it wasn't immediate, or immediately identifiable, what i was doing - something felt better, so i carried on - but eventually it became a very conscious project. a lot of time i am not the me of the past nor the me of the future, but i am a me who can watch similar patterns coming into being, sometimes i just do the same thing, but i am watching, and sometimes i do things differently. the simple act of awareness is so radical, i am often stunned by it.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 14th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I always feel like my voice, when recorded, sounds like another person. I know people always say that, but it never ceases to freak me out. I think that's even more true when you know the voice is coming from a very different psychological space. The voice feels even more disembodied and otherworldly--and yet I know it is supposed to be a direct record, even less mediated than journal entries and such. I have very few recordings of myself, though, partly for this reason. Probably for the best. I have other thoughts but I'm at work so for now I'll just say I'm thinking of you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 15th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Precisely. I have so many recordings of myself interviewing people from 1999 onward. I also have -- and need to track down -- a recording of a ninth-grade history class with my favorite K-12 teacher in which I say something. That is a trip.

(And I'm thinking of you, too!)
alsoname From: alsoname Date: April 14th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Off topic:

You should come to this show. They played in Tucson a couple of years ago and were awesome; I'm excited to see them again.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 15th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I will make every effort. And thanks for the tip. I've been having a hard time getting out, because of being behind and tired from the situation with my mother and all the travel it required.
alsoname From: alsoname Date: April 17th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I hope to see you there. I can't imagine what kind of a mental toll the recent circumstances have wrought.
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