Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Think My Eyes Are Getting Better - Instead of a Big Dark Blur, I See a Big Light Blur

It probably won't surprise anyone to hear, but this isn't my only failed writing project. I've also got a journal - you know, those weird things that came before blogs that look like books, but are filled with blank pages on which people used to, like, actually write words and stuff, with pencils and pens and everything. I bought the thing two or three years ago, and in all that time I've managed to fill about two-thirds of it. Color me ambitious, I guess.

Besides the fact that I'm a lazy poot, one thing that keeps me from writing as much as I might is the notion of what good a journal entry really is in the first place. At (rare) times when I think it could be swell to pen something into the pages of posterity, I often find myself asking ... myself ... What's the point? Really? Why should I record the events and ideas and experiences of my life? Will it help me to make sense of things, to create some sort of closure or context out of the myriad pieces of my world? Maybe. But then, I thought Jesus was the Person to whom I should cast all my cares, commit all my plans - my very life. Is writing down and thinking through all of my existence going to afford me greater perspective, help, clarity, joy, or rest than a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God?

Not that I don't believe writing things out can be useful. But a journal shouldn't be the ultimate way in which I deal with life. Nor should anything else, on that note, be it drugs, alcohol, sex, comfort food, reading, playing teh vid3o games, watching anime, or whatever other mechanism I might use to cope. (Here's looking at you, music collection.)*

And what does documenting memories and experiences really do for me anyway? Saves them for me to read later, and not much else. I could say the same for photos. So maybe journaling (not a real word), like photography, can just be a fun hobby - something to bring the enjoyment of remembrance and introspection. That's a thought I can get behind. I enjoy writing; for whatever reason, I also like the concept of having some record of myself. And reading over old entries can be an illuminating experience, too - if only to show how much of a self-conscious dufus I really was (naturally, I've changed heaps since then).

For anyone (unfortunate enough to have wasted his/her time) reading this, I'd like to hear your thoughts. Do you journal, or have you been captured by the slimy, writhing corporate sarlacc that is the Interwebz? Tell the ol' ISP what you love to write about. What issues, like mine, have you wrestled with? Do you have a favorite pen, or do you prefer to cheaply outsource the labor of writing to a weaker, subservient sibling to whom you dictate? Let the system work for you, I always say.

... you know, I bet Lando Calrissian kept a holo-journal. Facing the prospect of being slowly digested over a thousand years would give anyone some issues to sort out.


*Despite what I said, I'm not in any way a very "practicing" Christian. I made a choice long ago to live my own way, and it's gotten me a lot of strife, confusion, doubt, and worry, mixed in with some momentary pleasures. But despite my choices, I can't bring myself to deny what I once held fast.


EtherFox said...

I think you, like so many people, are afraid of death.

Writing your life's ups and downs, shortcomings and accomplishments, it's a way of enacting your own infinite existence.

That is, at least, the primary reason I keep myself from spilling all my life's details out at interval. It isn't that I don't think myself worthy, but simply that I think myself different. And very, acceptingly, mortal.

Salt Krakah said...

The connection you make between immortality and record-keeping is valid. But that is not my issue. While I may derive pleasure in that way from keeping a journal, my post was merely questioning what good such journaling is at all - how it should practically function and benefit.

My ultimate fear is not the end of life, acceptance, recognition; it is a lack of correct and meaningful value in the life I now live. And, thinking biblically, such fear is rooted in the uncertainties about my relationship to God.

And while I'm glad you've come to some terms with your mortal fate, I hope you haven't kicked writing entirely. :)