LEGACY, LIFE, DEATH and THE UNCANNY X-MEN

Timpane's picture

I had three distinct things happen to me this week.

One: There was a post on Barnson.org asking me my favorite Cartoon. Two: My wife and I discussed the concept of leaving a Legacy after you die. Three: I organized my comic books.

The first thing brought me back to Spider Man and His Amazing Friends, which featured the X-MEN back in 1981. The third thing made me go through my old Uncanny XMEN issues that were around when I was a toddler, and one or two from before I was born... which brings me to the second one.

It occurred to me that Cyclops and company were around before I was born, and would be after I was dead, and they would be, for the most part, unchanged. (A character named Kitty was 13 in 1979, she's 19 today.) It is a stark reminder of how life moves on.

My wife and I discussed what (being that we have no children yet, and won't for at least a few years) we would leave behind for future generations. Now, she had her thoughts (which are hers, so forgive me if I don't post without her permission) and I had mine..

I have often written and recorded music with the idea that someday a descendent of mine would listen, read lyrics and stories, and see pictures I drew, and get a feel for who I was. Its macabre, but I often think of the world after my death when I write and record.. like Michael Keaton in "My Life".. I hope someday, someone will listen or read and know more about me than a faded photo or a list of dates.

My grandmother does geneaology.. and she would say the legacies left behind are the people that exist with you as an ancestor, but I would give a lot to read a letter or hear the voice of that person from the past, instead of just knowing their name.

My late great-uncle Matt made a sculpture that I love, because I can see the lines he carved, and be there with him in that moment, imagining his hands carving those lines.

I wonder what of mine people will do the same with, as they reread their old X-Men back issues... I wonder if anyone but me even thinks about these things.

I hope so.

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matthew's picture

kids

Well, for me it's easy :) With three kids, and a fourth on the way, obviously I'll leave a kind of "legacy" in my children and grandchildren.

But I realize that I'll most likely not even be a small footnote in history. What I really want is to simply do something, even if it's just one thing, that makes a significant impact in improving the human condition. I think I know how I want to do it (see "[Culture is an excuse]"), but the big trouble is getting the spare time to do so. If there were ever a time for me to randomly win the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes so that I could quit my job and commit myself to a higher cause, this would be it ;)

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Teresa's picture

Legacy

My grandfather and I work on the family history and geneaology together. He was alway's telling me to " write it down ". One day I found a wonderful book with just that in mind. It went beyond just recording the dates and names of our past. It asked you to write down the wonderful memories. So I gave it to my grandfather. Asking him to " write it down ". I too want to hear the voice, see the face, and touch the handwriting. It brings you closer to how you got here to begin with. What it was that may have influenced you in your life. I only hope that the legacy of my children remember to look back occasionaly and smile. Teresa

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Teresa the Flautist and fire dancer

matthew's picture

Maybe my blog?

This is where I come to "write it down". I have to find myself wondering, though, what is to become of this site in ten or twenty years? If I stop paying my lease fees, or the company that hosts this site fails, it goes away until I can revive it elsewhere. It's not like a journal that way -- except maybe a flood will take out a journal, while I keep backups.

It's a thought that disturbs me, though. With the way data formats change, in twenty years the database and business logic that powers this web site may be long-dead history. I wonder what it will be like coping with change as it comes?

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson