New Year is the most important holiday of the year in Japan. As it is should be everywhere. A sanctioned time of renewal, starting over, beginning again, upping the ante on what you’re already doing. Maybe the first day of every month should be reserved for this. I actually do this stuff most mornings of my life with a special focus on Sunday morning—just me and my gods: Daytimer, Journal, Surface and the NYT. One can never start over too often.
About journaling. I have a 10-year Journal for 2004-2014 which is wrapping up; I started a new one this year, 2014-2024, so have been dual posting all year. The problem is, as I look back, there is very little of interest to me or anyone else in these journals. They are definitely not raw material for a notable tome of any sort. Why do this at all…write in a book of some kind or on a blog or in facebook? It is just that some of us do not exist for ourselves unless we say something in written-down (typed-up) words.
Blogs are to articulate your semi-profound thoughts and observations in somewhat ready-for-prime time format. Facebook is for your puppies, kitties, politics, sunsets, foreign monuments and for ‘liking’ all of the above for all of your friends. What a relief not to have to watch those old slideshows of the trip to the Grand Canyon, yes? Now a glance and a like and you’re done. I love my blogs…and facebook’s okay…but journals…well, they are special. Personal. Intimate.
Journaling or diary-keeping, writing by hand, that’s for my-eyes-only isn’t it? Recording details of my secret criminal activity, my sex life, the politicians I’ve bribed (well actually none of that is true except I’m pretty sure there was some sex and, as to the crime part, there were quite a few parking tickets). Sharing my thoughts about the meaning of life or the loves of my life? Cataloguing unique ideas for novels or films or paintings or how to become a millionaire? All details upon which my biographer will base her best seller once I am famous.
But something has gone terribly wrong with my journals. Granted the10-year book only has a few lines for each day of a given year so no way to wax poetic exactly or even finish a coherent thought that includes adjectives and adverbs. Should they be quite this dull, this lifeless, this mundane though? I will not even want to reread them in the ‘home.’ But they are words on paper. I write, therefore I am.
Here are a few excerpts from all December Elevens from 2004 through last year. Don’t feel that you should read them…but if you do beware of the sense of time passing slowly that will envelope you. Slower and slower and slower …
2004: …George Bush has a sense of his own invincibility or the righteousness of this cause that’s unreal.
2005: Sara’s like her dad was, pure motion. We baked ginger cookies with bacon grease for shortening. I loved them, others not so much…
2006: All day meeting at Barelas Community Center…more of Gordon’s old stuff delivered [?]…45 minutes walk and abs, even with side hurting. In bed 7:30pm. What’s wrong?
2007: Back to work. Many details that I need pass on to other staff…feeling increasingly disorganized.
2008: Gym catching up. And an attack of the pain gremlin. In toe [?], I work it out, moves to shoulder. Stiff all over. Tired. Blah. Plugging away at reports. Meeting Ollie for coffee…really want him working for us. Funny, smart guy.
2009 …back to work, planning presenting, starting good habits again. No butter wine or sweets. Instead olive oil, pasta, beer or Baileys on special occasions. NO JUNK…
2010: So I have a $2000 grant and lots of frequent flyer miles for an art trip this spring so I need to do it!
2011: Honestly if I could only travel and write I would be successful at it. So maybe this next two weeks of organizing and thinking about the the habits of good bloggers, writers will make a difference.
2012: So fucking sick of hearing about ‘my hunting gun’, ‘my protection gun.’ Keep saying ‘Grow Up’ to them. Putting on your orange jacket and aiming your toy doesn’t make you smart or strong or wise or capable. It just means you like to kill stuff for fun.
2013: So today will bridge the sick-well gap (I suppose from the emergency appendectomy) nicely as I clean. And plan nice treats for people. My friends, wine, Whole Foods desserts. Re-think food. Okay feel better already.
Let’s go find that book where I put all the stuff about sex, drugs and rock and roll.