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This week I have been sorting through old archives – photos, emails, conversations, chats, even letters – with memories unearthed, so many people re-emerged in my mind.

Our modern lives are largely heaps of digital files that we hold onto, as if these piles of data somehow capture the truth of our past… But, alas, that is all we have..

As I moved, filed, and copied and pasted pieces of my life into some semblance of order, I looked at the little folders on my screen. Each folder has a name. Two words, each capitalized, separated by a space. The precise combinations of letters are neither unique nor particularly meaningful. They are just social convention for signifying me from you, from any other human being.

And, as I look at each of these names, my heart skips a beat.

These combinations of letters and sounds are cryptic passcodes into hidden chambers of the mind. The graceful bend of the S, the swift plunge of the J, the unexpected ‘y’, the corners and curves of familiar ciphers.

You are forever encoded in the alphabet that anyone can read, but only I can understand.

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