Thursday, September 11, 2008

A rose by any other name

Naming something is exceedingly difficult.  I don't feel an association to one thing.  My sister has a great blog name, the professor's armchair.  She is an English professor, or a literature professor, and you can imagine her sitting in a big plush arm chair by a fire with a stack of books.  It is perfect.  Another friend has a cute blog name, the cavage patch, which is a play on their name.  I was thinking about naming the whole blog a rose by any other name, but someone else claimed that.  Would it smell as sweet?  Having had two different names in my life, I can tell you, a name does make a difference.  
So why history or memory?  I took two very enjoyable classes on this topic.  What makes history official?  What do we remember?  Why are memoirs so powerful?  How are they different from fiction, or are they?  
Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York.  It was a tragic event.  But one of the interesting things to come out of it are some memories that shape how we think of the historical event.  There is a booth in New York that started as a way for people to record what happened on 9/11 and to try to heal from the tragedy.  The project has expanded across the country to include memories from average Americans that illustrate different aspects of American life.  There is a memoir about 9/11, or rather, about four women who were affected by 9/11 and started meeting for coffee to help each other through it.  Because of TV, radio, and other media, we are able to view the event through individuals memories, rather than just having a top-down "official" historical point of view.
Blogs seem to be the perfect way to remember, to pass your memories, your history, and your life out into the world, and perhaps, create history.