Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Journals

“Desires are the memories from our future”

~Rilke

         I am a careless recorder of days, and I hold it against myself. I love to think that this journal will be the ideal, the perfect, messy-yet-delightful, and consistent record of this time in my life. Instead it is a collection of to-do lists, half-finished poems, and Yarrow’s own writing that can entirely obscure what I’ve put under it. But I do love my journals, even as they disappoint me. Journaling is an art, and not one I’m particularly good at, but one I love.

Seth would probably like you to know that this is NOT his photo
         I usually burn my journals two or three years after I’ve abandoned them. I shouldn’t, but they do pile up. I pull out the good parts - poems that might grow someday, pictures and thoughts I love, but the majority - the ‘to-dos’ and ramblings, the half-finished letters and the unimportant dreams I burn. Even so, journals are essential to me. I don’t write in them daily, but they ground me and give me a chance to see my thoughts, to shape them and form them into something better. To pray with my pen in the evenings, when life is quiet.

12 comments:

  1. Total sympathy here. I liked this a lot.

    For all the pretty books I've bought, in the last years I've surrendered to the internet. Part of it is that the paper journal tends to feel ruined if I write something too painful in it. The rest is that I've spoiled myself for handwriting by getting comfortable with typing.

    Now I have what I think of as a two-part journal: the public side, which is my blog, and the private side, which is locked away from public view. :) They're both decorated, at least. They're also both essential to me. The private one is full of prayers and scraps of thought.

    ...but I've never been able to burn a journal. It would probably be better if I did. ;)

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    1. Thanks!

      I like the way my handwriting looks..that at least is never a problem..except when it changes halfway through an entry ;) I don't think I'd ever feel - honest with myself if I typed my journals..because I'd always be going back to delete and edit my entries - I do it enough with written journals, but there is always the marking out to show where I've been. I like the image I've given myself of your computer journal - do you have an Apple, btw, I always picture you with one? (I don't, but I would love to save up and get one for Seth, they have 7 hours of battery-life and lots of photo/music editing stuff apparently).

      Burning journals is good for me - I started doing it when I got engaged..and I didn't want there to be any chance my college "I have such a huge crush on Seth" journals would ever be accidentally seen by him ;) and now, it really helps purge away certain times in my life..I keep the relevant and helpful pages, and burn the rest..You could always print out and burn, it's more the ceremony than anything..:)

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    2. Nope, I have a Dell. :)

      Lou and I have been pretty good about not reading each other's journals. Funny, I never would've thought that was a good thing growing up... and now, I think it's just plain healthy!

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    3. A Dell..hmm..well, at least you're not one of those I-live-for-Macs people ;) But I'll have to work to weed out all the Apple associations in my mind now..

      I hope I didn't make it sound like Seth Would actually read my journal..he's pretty fantastic about protecting my solitude, but I can come up with some pretty convincing imaginary situations in which he'd accidentally read an "omgoodness, I love Seth, why doesn't he love me???" passage from freshman year and I shuddered at the thought ;). Not reading each other's journals is so healthy - Tolstoy was completely wrong on that point, in my opinion..and since he went crazy, looks like I'm right! :)

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    4. You and Lou sound pretty fantastic, by the way ;)

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    5. Hah, no; I didn't mean that as a judgment on Seth or you at all. :) I just meant that Lou and I came to an agreement early on that we just Didn't Need to Know. And gosh, I like it that way.

      And it's shameful, but Lou's hardly in my journals at all... because we fell in love at the same time, and were much too busy dating and working through all that entails (especially when one is Catholic and the other starts off as Protestant and goes through the process of converting) for me to have time to work out all my emotions on paper. So he doesn't have nearly as much air time as all those heartbreakers before him who couldn't spare the time to glance at me... terrible, I know, but now I'm too busy being happily married to do anything about it. ;)

      And thanks. I think you and Seth sound awesome, too!

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  2. I'm a chronic journal-buyer. I spend way too much money on pretty ones, and then I don't use them.

    The only times I've ever been utterly successful in keeping up a journal is when living abroad. I don't know why. But I've only once burned a journal, and that was when I needed to let go of some pretty unhealthful stuff, so much so that I knew I should never be reading it again.

    Two letters from you two days in a row have been such a treat! I keep all--and I mean all--my cards and correspondences.

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    1. We have the same failing there..pretty journals, pretty books, good pens, good coffee..poor Seth, I just like buying pretty things.

      I'm glad the letters came through, I'm winning at my letter-writing intention! Yours have been a delight as well! I try to keep letters all nicely bound up, but Yarrow has a tendency to add embellishments of her own..;p

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  3. You're pretty... pretty.
    -The Neglected Husband

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    1. I said yer pretty. -The Neglected Husband

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