Trash and treasure…
August 31, 2010 § 27 Comments
There was a box in the mudroom, a blue lidded storage box. Usually things in the mudroom, not having much to do with mud, are there in limbo. They are on their way to the car or to the trash. Still, some are turned back, re-winning a position in the house.
I opened the box to see what was staking a claim in the room-of-neither-here-nor-there. I found journals. This would be an easy decision. Old journals, who cares? The box, I wanted
I began stacking the notebooks on a chair. There were more in there than I expected. There were several that I liked, just for the cover decorations and a long Euro size one notebook that I had forgotten about (it was such a plesaure to write in this one) and many good old spiral notebooks.
I shouldn’t have opened any one of the journals. I was so close to being rid of them. The garbage cans were merely 50 feet away at the end of the driveway.
But I did open them, flipped through them. I carefully opened a small one with James Joyce on the cover (not that I had any such pretensions, mind you, but have always been a fan, with a weakness for the Irish writers). And flilpped through the pages and found an old ticket to a Paul McCartney concert. And a list of “chores” I had assigned the kids. And a tiny birthday card, from HM. According to the date on the cover page, this journal was written 16 years ago. Oh. Well. The journal itself had some keepsakes within.
I picked up another one, this one not completely filled. There were pages and pages of solid writing – didn’t want to see how much whining might have been on the page…but I did find an old rejection letter from ESQUIRE magazine. Hmph. I suddenly recalled the story I had sent them. What was I thinking? Same as now; keep trying, keep writing. It’s what I do. Some people bake incessantly. Some clean, even while they’re talking to you. Others play games.
But what about the journals and the trash and their proximity (in so many ways) one to the other?
Too late now. I was suckered in. I picked up journal after journal, leafed through some, just checked others to see if they were filled or if I had quit halfway through, not an uncommon trait. (I hear other journalers are also afflicted with the “some journals left unfilled” trait.)
Why do we write these? We love writing.
Why do we keep these journals? We don’t, always.
We are constantly conquering the blank page somehow, whether with doodling; writing; yakking up old memories, drivel or crumbs; spinning tales; and chronicling family events and dialogues and characters.
A dear (writing) friend has it written in her will that all her journals are to be burned when she dies. ‘Til then, she holds on to them. Another friend has entrusted me with the dispatch of her journal writing.
I have no such concerns. Anyone can read them now or later, or not. I don’t care. In the meantime, for me, they are a chronology of family life interspersed with writing life. I cannot and do not always separate the two lives. Writing is hobby; writing is profession. Journals allow me to treat it as the former; time allows me the latter.
I haven’t tossed these journals yet. I’ve made yet another “stack” in my office. It’s not exactly a TBR stack. It’s the old-journal stack.
We’ll see if these work themselves back to the mudroom one day. Or, become part of a work-in-progress.
Word: Love your journals. They are little books in constant progress.
Book Recommendation: It’s a fabulous book on “journaling” to recommend. OK, I don’t know that it’s fabulous. I hope it will be. I haven’t even cracked it open yet. It’s on my nightstand, waiting for me to finish several books that I”m forcing myself to finish first. (Ah, but that’s fodder for another entry!)
Here’s the recommendatin:
mmmm….yummy, I love knowing it’s there. Given that, can it possibly disappoint?