where the writers are
The Golden Book
One of my daughters, in the aftermath of coping with the sadness of bearing a stillborn child, has adopted the policy of "living in the moment."  Why? Because we have to move forward from what was in the past, she says, and who knows what the future holds? She quoted me (what I'd written in an earlier book, Embrace/Etreinte) as saying that we are -- in each moment -- the culmination of all our past experiences. Of course, I was flattered that something I'd written had influenced the way my daughter feels about life. But, as I reflected on this thought, I reaffirmed it. Life is like a hard drive. Even if we erase the file, its contents remain embedded there. Right there in the hard drive. Even if we're not expert enough to find it ourselves, it can be recovered. This awareness has always been with me, long before there were any computers, even when I was typing on my IBM Selectric II, and before that on my manual typewriter. But, in the late 1980s, as I bought my first personal computer (a 286, and my program was Wordperfect 3.1), I was awed by what was possible with a computer, how it could remember for you. Hard to recapture that sense of amazement now, when we take all our handheld, whiz-kid gadgets for granted. In the early 1990s, as a matter of fact, I wrote a song lyric (my cousin, the talented composer Nathan Rosen, wrote the music) that began, "The golden book's a computer scribe./All the numbers are locked inside." All the numbers were inscribed, I realized, long before we had faxes -- remember when we were stunned that the sheets that came out of faxes could record all the telephone numbers we'd called? Now faxes are almost obsolete, and far more powerful computing, remembering, and communicating instruments have taken over. So I think the concept of the hard drive puts God, by whatever name we call that creative force, back in the sky. That mystery we call God doesn't need a computer to remember, to inscribe our names, our numbers, or roll out lists on paper. But I truly believe that what we do is recorded, and what each of us does influences everything else. Our fellow man. The ecological balance. At least, that is how I see it. As we say in the Jewish tradition, may you be inscribed in the Book of Life!