On his personal blog, New York Times technology journalist Nick Bilton mused about “collecting air” in his travels around the globe. He closes his post with this thought, drawn from a recent conversation on a flight:
The man looked at me and asked, “Do you collect anything?”
At first I didn’t know how to respond, I hadn’t thought about it in some time. And then I instinctively told him that I actually collect stories —about people, or events, or places, or companies, or moments in time. That I collect these stories and keep them as words and photos.
I looked out of the plane window for a while as we zipped above the clouds at 35,000 feet, and then I looked back at the man and said, “I guess you could say I collect air.”
I felt the same instinct over the holidays, when asked to describe what I do or what a day in my life is like now. The photostream I’ve shared to Twitter or Tumblr over the past two weeks offers vignettes of a mobile life:
Those windows on my worlds, reflected as they are in a growing multitude of glowing screens, are a collection that I value much in the same way that a philatelist or numismatist in a previous generation might adore her stamps or her coins. I hope that some of the stories they represent are at least as enduring.