Sunday, October 31, 2010

home sweet journal

I'm always surprised at how the simplest, sweetest things are pushed aside so easily. The other night, I gathered up three of my favorite pens and cracked open a brand new composition book. I recently bought two cases, yep, two cases of those black and white, wide-ruled comp books. They were on sale for $2 a case, so I had to.

Oh, sweet journal. How good it felt to write, to scribble and allow for such freedom to write without a care for conventions, spelling or even legibility. I wrote for pages, ideas flying. I had to wonder why this wasn't something I did daily? Why isn't it right up there with eating and sleeping?

Our grandmother has kept a daily journal since 1957. I know of no other person who has maintained a journal for as long a stretch. She started as a young woman and believe it or not, she uses the same journal each year. It's become hard to find, these days. It is always red or black, always with the year stamped on the front cover and a page for each day. Just one single page.

As an occasional journaler I always thought, wow, one page, I could never do it. But my grandmother is a different sort. Her journals are efficient accounts of her days. Though the one-page entries may not seem like enough, they somehow always are. With nothing to hide at 90, she allows me to browse her journals. I go to the day I was born, the day my parents married, the day my grandfather's dog died, the day my nephews were born. In so few words my grandmother never once failed to capture the emotion of each day.

Once in awhile she'll call after looking back into her archives to read to me a fond memory that she's run across. Our conversations always end with her telling me that she plans to give her journals to me, and that she hopes I'll appreciate them. Oh, god, will I!

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