Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some Preliminaries

I have kept a journal in one form or another for almost forty years! The journals from which this blog will emerge span the years from 1997 to the present. Starting in 1998 and continuing for several years, I followed the advice of Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way and wrote "morning pages"--three pages of unedited stream of consciousness (more or less), which means there's a lot of whiny, not so good writing among the many journal pages of those years. It can be a bit of a chore to read through searching for worthwhile stuff!

Sometimes reading my old journals, from the morning pages era as well as other times, I feel as if I have wandered into some kind of carnival crazy house, with randomly tilting floors and distorted mirrors where there should be doors or windows--a bit disconcerting to say the least.

At other times my journals are incredibly repetitive. If, as I quoted D'Israeli yesterday, we converse with ourselves in journals, I had a few conversations with myself over and over again!

Still, somehow, through the seeming craziness and repetition, occasionally a light shines and clarity emerges (and sometimes disappears again in short order). Some of my favorite passages involve things done or said by Bekah or Anna in their younger years. Other favorites are the records of certain key dreams (night-time dreams) that really got my attention. And still others are the beginnings of poems, or moments of full sensory appreciation of the natural world.

As I begin to select and to post journal excerpts from these years, I do not intend to present them in chronological sequence, nor in any particular thematic groupings of excerpts, unless such a grouping might evolve as a low-stress way to proceed. Moving around from year to year will, I am guessing, be more fun for me that simply trying to work my way through from one end to the other. There may even be large gaps of time that I skip over entirely. (Some years were pretty uneventful!)

I will always give the date of the original entry, thus leaving it up to you, the reader, to fit things into some kind of time line, if that's important to you.

I can imagine that I will want to make comments now and then, both to provide a context for a particular passage, or to add a present-day commentary on something from years ago. I will add those comments and commentaries in italics, to distinguish them from the journal extracts themselves.

And, as with all true experimental adventures, I will just have to see how this goes and how it feels. It will at least get me launched!

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