mad in pursuit notebook


What Doesn't Get Said

I’m looking at old online journal entries — transferring them from html files to plain text. I haven’t decided yet whether this is useful or obsessive-compulsive. In either case, I’m apparently one of those people who find themselves endlessly fascinating.

I’m working on 2002 at the moment, a year when no one was reading my postings except for my parents and members of a few writing circles I belonged to. I’m surprised at how good they are — long chatty “letters home,” sometimes in response to a writing prompt (“courage,” “what I know for sure”). I had gotten far enough into the public journalling game to know that I had to be entertaining. But it was long before “blogging,” where the format is short and snappy, preferably with a picture. So I generated a treasure trove of opinions, observations and learning histories (2002 was when I was learning how to edit video).

But it’s weird to see what I don’t write about. For example, 2002 was the year Jim finally drank his way to end-stage liver disease and came close to dying, then made a courageous and miraculous recovery. I didn’t write a word about it. Maybe I was honoring his privacy. Maybe it didn’t feel like my story. I was somewhere on the stage of Jim’s grand opera, but he was singing solo. I was doing, like, the comic relief — you know, how in the middle of a Shakespearean tragedy, the fool walks on stage with a few smart-ass lines for the king.

I guess everyone is different in how they deal with the crap going on in their lives. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve. Others prefer their game face.

Here’s a metaphor. When I think the dam is breaking, I know it’s too late to do anything about the dam. So, I rush downstream and start sandbagging to protect all my cultivated fields. I should expound upon this, but I think I’ll stop while I’m ahead

Nov 15, 2011