Journey of Journaling

My first attempt at keeping journals was unsuccessful. You get these ideas from people that things must be done a certain way. You say, “Dear Diary”, keep a record of events and thoughts, and write daily. You start on page one, you always write the date, and for the most part, you write.

When I was in high school, I was given another set of ideas behind journaling. Instead of a book of lined paper I was given a book of acid free, white paper that was as great for drawing, writing, or pressing fall leaves. I was told to fill it up with whatever.

The art teacher showed us his. Some pages were writing, some doodles, some serious sketches, and some contained nothing but a business card and some notes. There were saved napkins, random thoughts, lists, and newspaper clippings. He explained that a journal was for all kinds of things. It was there to help us record whatever and it didn’t matter what it was as long as you filled it.

Other journals I would start and write a few dated entires, not write for awhile, begin the next with an apology and a new commitment. Maybe I’d get to page ten.

The first book I filled was still from page one, but I filled it to the end with writing, drawing, painting, collages, clippings, thoughts, doodles, ticket stubs, and anything else.

These days I’ve found that I loathe page one. The pressure of beginning and end doesn’t lend itself to capturing a moment, or any space of real time. You can’t chronical it all in a time line, because when it’s happening we’re out there living it. To try to relive the exact thing on a page is tedious, boring, pointless, and really impossible. Instead I collect bits, reflect, and reassemble. It wasn’t before long that I started keeping a collection of paperish stuff. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have the time to say “Dear Diary” every day. When I went to a concert, I would keep the ticket stub. When I made an elaborate doodle on a post-it, I kept it. Ever wonder what to do with the cards you get, the packaging that seems too pretty to throw out, or the best fortunes you get from cookies? What about the posters that are too ragged for the wall or the wonderful color you saw in the hardware store and you grabbed a swatch of it?

Who ever said that they needed to go into the book the same day?

Years later, my first few folders are now a large leather case and a small plastic box. The big case has full pages and stuff I just haven’t looked at. When I am journaling, I can grab something from the case to put in. I usually cut it up and collage it. The small box is for the little pieces that are left, but I don’t want to throw away. That bit of gold paper might work on another page.

I befriended glue sticks and scissors, magic markers and pens, a utility knife, a glue gun, and colored pencils. I don’t like to be idle while watching TV or a movie or listening to music. I might be giving the book my full attention or just my subconscious.

I have more than one book going at the same time. I add to old pages as often as I start new ones. A bit from 1998 might be on the same page as 2008. I care more about the order of composition than the order of time. It’s how real life works anyways. In a weeks time you won’t remember the exact order of everything you did last week. It doesn’t matter either because you today are parts of your past, but not in any kind of time order. The events from 1998 sit beside those of 2008 in how they’ve shaped you. If that makes sense, they can make sense on a page next to each other.

Why do we try to make a strait line when a journey has twists and turns?

Current Current

Closer we fall inward to forever clutching fleeting faces
touching the nape of my neck and holding tender too tight.
Your teasing whispers testing passions, telling me it’s all right
saying all the while by your stance and smile
as we get closer, we can fade- things can change.
People drift and people flail, I look for footing but know I will fail
and fall again, the wind whipping past, looking to the past and bidding it not repeat.
I stand on two feet, fearing the fall, knowing the fall, seeing the fall
tipping to the edge and facing your face and taking your embrace and tumble
caress, holding to my breast a place and a feeling- comforting touch caring outside of time,
sensual touch taring and taking what’s mine,
together touch, taking steps as two equals together in time
fairing well in the silent hope that the weather will hold as we hold tight together under night.
We fold our fears in tight so their small packages are tucked in each others’ arms
out of sight and out of mind as we mind nothing but he banter and the bubbling over
the falls splashing down, the excitement plummets into the base of my stomach, creeping to my fingers, extending to touch your lips as they laugh ideas and smile sentiments into my ears.
Rolling down the rapids, drifting down the steady trickle not knowing if the current will bring us closer or carry us apart.

Past Paths Passed

When past comes to the present,
and hindsight suddenly sheds light
on things long forgotten in the shadows,
how can I still stare into the night?
I take a step back to the sign
where once stood a crossroad I never saw.
Again today it stands, not the same but
I’m still in danger of wandering down some lane
without the slightest thought of choice.
We thought we’d fly to the next path
on the backs of dreams only to find
the ground comes up faster than it seems.
Those that were left behind were left to wonder
where their paths took them
while their own paths took them
to far shores, where it was hard to be sure
why and where the wonder was left.
Here we stand today, many miles but side by side
nestled in the hope of memory.
What we missed before won’t be missed again
and each other not missed again
and opportunity not missed again
and that crossroads not missed as
we turn to a new journey.
Let lead the way with hope that the night has passed
and cast aside our blindness at last.

It’s a tarp.

Some people are very good at forgiveness and some people are very good at betrayal.

When two such people link together, arm in arm, it’s a terrible combination and very sad to watch.

Forgiveness, loyalty, love, and even hope can be a bad thing to have concerning the right people. It sets up a cycle of pain hard to break from.

The hindsight of escaping such an cycle can be just as worse. We figure we’re stronger and smarter now, but deep down we know we’d do it again. Really there are some things about us that don’t change so much. We all have an outer aura that is subject to change, but everyone also has a core of what makes them who they are.

I’m not sure what that core consists of is the same for people, but I do think that he bigger traits that I’m talking about usually reside in the core of a person. The further into the core the trait, the harder it is to change.

Words like ‘should’ don’t apply, only will. They shouldn’t lie, but they will. You should let them go, but you will hold on until they leave you defeated. You come back until loyalty has reached its limit, hope is hollow, and the entire experience leaves you empty.

Some people have a very strong will that accompanies things like loyalty and hope. Some people don’t ever know when to quit.

And when it’s all over, we ask why. The why of it doesn’t really matter, but still we ask it every time. You’re never going to be satisfied with the answer. With or without, these things are and continue to be this way.

The question isn’t why so much as it’s why not. Why not work out? Why not change for the better?

It’s so much easier as an outsider looking in. I say maybe you shouldn’t (again), watch with horrible fascination, and tell you to be careful even as the outcome is apparent.

Look out. It’s a tarp.

Past Sitting Beside You

We might order you too.
Screen shot from Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (SNES, 1993). I know I’d like fries with that.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it keeps coming up. I’m moving forward, but since I’ve moved back to where I grew up, the past has been saying ‘hello’ at odd times and scaring the ever living CRAP out of me.

It then leaks into my subconscious and leaves a weird residue. I have weird dreams. I think about it too much. I get a strong urge to move (and I hate moving and rather like my place).

On one hand, being here is perfect. I have studio space. I have a place to live. My family is nearby. I have a nice yard.

On the other, it’s perfectly wrong for me. Memories live next door. I’m having a hard time finding a job that fits and isn’t ‘just another job’, but is something like the beginning of a career. I don’t know a lot of people I have deep relationships with nearby. There are a few (and I love you guys), but I feel like I’m still to far from them. They are an forty-five minute drive away. I really got to love being able to walk to everyone and everything. I’m back to being super inactive with little appetite. Then there is my family being nearby not always a good thing. Their problems become my problems.

I have issues with the general attitudes of people here. Yes, it’s a generalization, but I got used to people being friendly.

One of the first things that happened to me when I got here is that I got followed home by some woman in her car who screamed at me because somewhere I supposedly cut her off. She wanted me to get out of the car. I felt like I was on an episode of Law & Order or part of tomorrows news. I remember there was a news story years back about a person in MA who was shot with a crossbow and killed after being followed by someone with road rage. I figured I’d be safe in my truck as long as she didn’t have a gun or crossbow.

I feel like this is some psychological thing I should be able to break. I’m not in high school, but this is where I was when I was in high school. I spent a lot of my time a couple of streets over. I built up a new identity in college and post college. I’m someone who was a lot more confident, outgoing, and happy. Sure, I’ve kept the cynical half-smile and sarcasm, but I’ve grown up. Just by being here, I’m identifying with parts of my past that, though they are irrelevant, are managing to psych me out.

So, I build new memories of this place.

I am somehow simultaneously living and avoiding here. I interview for jobs outside of Boston, I take classes in the same area, and I hang out with friends up there too. I stay in my apartment when I’m here. There’s not a ton to do here in the middle of winter with little money, but there are things.

I live here. This is where I came from. I don’t hate this place, but I almost feel like it hates me. The people and attitudes I am trying to avoid are the ones with the issues. I need to stop owning that.

If Rory Blyth can deal with past living next door, well then so can I. Granted, this is no Portland, Oregon, but there are things to like, do, and people. I just need to gather up the gumption to go find them.

I need to put aside the girl that lived here so I can get on with being the woman that lives here.