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Apr 30, 2023Liked by Nate Kadlac

I love the idea of writing emails today to your daughter in the future. Could be valuable to write one to yourself...maybe I’ll do that!

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Well said! Though they will have infinite photos of themselves, so will those photos become their memories?

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Maybe, but are they? When I look back at those images of my childhood, they're just photos to me—not memories.

I also think I have an extremely poor memory!

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I thought of this recently. I’ve been sending free writing prompts to my stepdaughter every weekday for a couple of months now. The other day, there was one about recalling your first memory. Immediately, something came to mind, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was me making up some story around a pic of my brother and me when I was probably too young to actually remember anything about it.

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Haha are you sending *work* to your future daughter? She'll love that 🤣

Yeah those "memories" are tricky. Not that they're not true, but that we have many disconnected images—like grains of rice—in our head of our early experiences. Our adult selves try to fill in the gaps around those images.

But to me it's still strange and I can't help but be in the middle of an experience worthy of a memory and think, "She'll NEVER remember this. How sad."

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I read that wrong and your stepdaughter is likely much older.

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I’ve been meaning to snag a gmail account for my daughter and schedule emails to send to her in the future. I was thinking they’d be more sentimental than sending her work. But now you’ve got me thinking lol

The free writing prompts with my stepdaughter have been super fun. We just do it for a quick five minutes and even in that short amount of time they bring up interesting thoughts. She’s pretty hilarious too

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I had never thought about how Rowie won’t share the same memories as we will for at least 4 years. 🤯🤯🤯 But your little tribute to her and Alie here was so sweet to read. ❤️❤️ And I love that you set her up with a future email already!

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Well you better come around more often to stamp those memories into place! Or alternatively you have 18 months to be a jerk aunt before you get a clean slate. 😂

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🤣 come next winter I plan on overstaying my welcome. You’ll be sorry you ever wrote out this threatening message and you’ll all wish I’d go back to Wisconsin. 😏😏

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Hahaha never!

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I don’t have kids myself, but this is such an interesting meditation on memory that I’m compelled to comment on times when my own memories are lost versus retained.

I find that I remember much more about a trip or outing when I’ve also taken the time to photograph the experience on film. For many reasons—discernment due to the inherent scarcity of film shots I can take, the higher value of each shot (because they cost money to develop), the prints I get back and display—I’m much more likely to revisit analog photos than digital ones, and to revisit those memories more often by extension.

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I love this! I feel the same way about edited video, journaling, or drawing. Any act that has a bit of friction to it gives us some more narrative memory hooks to hold on to. Thanks for sharing!

I wrote a post on drawing while traveling: https://planyournext.com/p/travel-sketching

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Ooh, thanks for linking to this piece! I'm excited to dig in. (FWIW, I stumbled across your drawing framework recently, and have been applying it ever since—as a writer who doesn't really draw, I've found it to be quite approachable and impactful.)

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That's incredible! Thanks for sharing that.

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Not trying to be nitpicky, and I’m probably just dropping in here without understanding context, so if that’s the case apologies in advance. I know this isn’t the main point of your post, but just commenting on one of the last parts. FWIW, the plane John Denver flew was modified from Burt Rutan’s original tank design. Here’s a quote from later in the cited article:

Experimental aircraft kits, however, need not be built as the designer intended. Indeed, the flaws that led to Denver's death were the work of the builder, and had nothing to do with Burt Rutan. These flaws led from the builder's sincere desire to improve on Rutan's work, a goal that could actually be said to have been accomplished from an engineering perspective, even if it did kill the pilot.

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Great callout, and no apology needed. I think we agree on the same principle.

We're all designers, making good or bad decisions all the time. I don't place blame on Rutan, but the builder made different design decisions based on what they thought was best, which proved fatal when the sum of the parts were considered.

But after all, Denver could have just checked the capacity of fuel in the end! 🤷‍♂️

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