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AL GILKES: Living eulogy my way

Al Gilkes, [email protected]

AL GILKES: Living eulogy my way

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PEOPLE ARE FOREVER ASKING when I am going to write a book about my life and it’s something I have been considering. However, because mine has been so many lives wrapped up into one, I just don’t know where to start and or end.

I am also aware that the world of books is fast approaching that of the dinosaur, namely extinct. Blame it on the electronics age where with the click of a mouse you can log on to a variety of Internet sites and absorb the contents of thousands of books, ancient or modern, from the Old Testament to the latest works of fiction or non-fiction, without having to move a finger to flick a page.

In addition to the Kindle and other online reading applications that mimic traditional paper book reading and even include virtual turning of the pages, there are thousands of just as easily accessible audio books for the “reading”.

I have become quite a fan of audio books simply because my daily routine involves so much old-fashioned eye-straining reading, writing and editing that when it comes time for me to relax with a good book, all I am able to do is relax.

Then one day while browsing the Internet I discovered that I no longer needed to endure the frustration of my brain willing me to read a book but my eyes refusing and preferring to take me into dreamland.

I had discovered the world of audio books and after downloading the appropriate app to my mobile phone I was able, with the touch of a finger, to relax, close my eyes and read anything with my ears in any genre from A to Z that I desired, including ancient texts, biographies, classics, fiction, economics, history, literature, philosophy, poetry, politics, religion, romance, satire, science fiction and travel. Religion includes every book of the Bible together with the Apocrypha.

My only problem with audio books is that they call for less serious concentration than physical reading, with the result that the mind tends to wander into thoughts of other places and things while you are listening. In addition, if you are too relaxed, you easily fall asleep to awaken several unheard chapters later.

So I have come up with this idea, not novel, about not writing or even audio recording my life story. Rather, I am seriously considering creating a video book where, with the technology now common with most computers and mobile phones, I can sit and leisurely video record every facet as it comes to mind.

What is unique about the technology is that I can use one of those applications that crosses boundaries to link the mobile phone to the tablet to the iPad to the laptop to the desktop and to anything else, thereby allowing whatever is recorded on one to be almost instantaneously accessible on any of the others.

Getting even deeper into this video thing, I have also been entertaining the crazy idea of delivering my own eulogy at my own funeral whenever that time comes, as it will some day in the near or distant future.

The idea is to write down what I would want said about me and not what a eulogist may determine should be related about me, then video record myself speaking what I have written and having it saved for when the time come and I am called up yonder or down under. Then, amid the mourning, the weeping and the gnashing of teeth I will appear, projected unannounced and unexpected on a big screen, to welcome family and friends and deliver my story, and doing it my way.

Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email [email protected]