Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blogging, the Diary, and the Confessions to the Self

I have been keeping a journal since 1999 just before I had a major medical problem. I started to write in a small notebook. I see it now as a prelude to my more extended, organized writings in both fiction and non-fiction which I would later publish.

Then, it was just an attempt to capture what I felt was the fleeting nature of time. I was 29; I was perched on 30. What had I done? If I got hit by a T, slipped in the shower and lost my memory, at least I'd have a journal -- a document of my time. Then, when I got sick a few months later -- a truly bad illness -- the journal took on a more urgent note. The entries get more desperate and strident. Time was running out. Time to write it down. Time proved me wrong. I am still here. And now, perched on 40, with 40 a few weeks away, those old journals from 1999 make for interesting reading.

Time's flow is inexhaustible.

Turning a decade older turns more than years. It turns the ideas of self, time, identity on their head. It shows the progression of thought and feeling over time. Hopefully, it shows a widening of humane feelings. We are all in the same predicament. What we see as difference is only surface dross. What we once thought as separate is instead connected. That Self that I was is that Self still; just with different preoccupations and a horizon of expectation.

and here it the deeper lesson...

There are sentiments, opinions, perspectives in those notebooks that I would not want anyone to read. That is, of course, the pivot around which the Blog and the Diary hinge and then depart company. The blog is for public consumption. The diary is strictly private to its inner core.

A blog that is an intimate diary, especially if attributed, is a terribly crass object. There are other venues where the Self can romp around in its own narcissistic rumpus room. That is of course the diary.

The diary will take anything I throw at it. I can say the most vehement things about the people I love, hate, wish to stop hating, have known and lost and wish to see again. And no one will ever read it. It is a buried treasure without the benefit of a map. There is still room for this type of self-confession for the writing human being. It can't all be out there like a shirt tail hanging out. Some of it must be hidden in the drawer. Part of us should be hidden

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