The source for this post is my recent project of "spring cleaning" on my gmail account... since I hadn't used it in two years, a fair number of unread messages, mostly from listservs, had piled up. When I merged in all the messages I received as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had 1,637 unread messages.
The most interesting part came when I went through my "drafts" folder. Which is a snapshot of ideas I was in the middle of forming two years ago:
There is a fragment from a story my brother wrote, in which a group of legendary rabbis discuss the nature of revelation while sitting in an LDS sunday school class.
Short scriptural thoughts on the nature of debts and the nature of miracles which I was planning to send to a Mormon hermeneutic group.
A translation I found for the Mul Mantra, the first words of Sikh scripture.
A response to a friend regarding questions she raised about a paper I wrote on the simultaneous development of post-temple Judaism and the ritual of passover seder.
A Polish Poem about Samizdat, or the Soviet-era practice of secretly copying literary works by typewriter to avoid censors, which I was going to send to my brother.
A link (which I think I saved in drafts for my own future reference) trying to parse through opposition (Western) to and enthusiasm (Eastern) for Shariah law. Noah Feldman's approach here is excellent. He carefully examines assumptions, shows how we often reach our conclusions by ignoring wide amounts of relevant data, and carefully uncovers a truly thoughtful basis to something many people just reject as foreign.
A letter to my sister about our planned low-impact all-natural restaurant venture.
A blank letter to one of my cousins, reaching out across time and space to be part of a family I love and appreciate so much.
Unsurprising, perhaps, that what was on my mind then is still so much of what is on my mind now!