It's been a long time since I printed out my life. I used to print out
my journal and thumb through the pages whilst marking up
my thoughts on how my life was going. Rewinding time has a powerful
effect on me. I laugh with the good days and cry with the bad days. I
can tell you exactly when things started to go wrong just as I can
tell you about great days I forgot completely. Feels great to
laugh after the recall. Makes me glad I tend to my text each night.
I've always meant to write down the best reasons to keep a journal.
(As though I had to prove its validity to naysayers.) Truthfully, I've
known only one very vocal opponent to journal keeping. She claims that
one should just live life and not worry about recording anything. I
suppose that works for some but the way I have framed my life is the
same way an artist would frame a painting.
I consider art to be equivalent to choice and since I make choices
each day I see time as the canvas of my life. I've began the process
of sketching it on shorter and shorter time scales. On the scale of
day dreams I muse about what my life could be like in X years. And as
I continue to fail to arrive there I begin to unwrap the delineations
of time into shorter and shorter segments. I take apart the months and
then the weeks and then the days and then the hours. I keep my
footsteps in a little black book as I begin to understand the role of
time in my daily life. It allows me to gauge how much canvas I really
And I begin to paint.
But what insights do I glean as side effects of this continuous process
of temporal redemption?
All sorts of things.
Upon textual introspection, I notice how excited I am to write about
my robotic software. Through all the emotion it's easy to see how I
can get my sense of practical-ism messed up. The perspective time
grants forces questions like, "Why did I stop working on that?" Soon
answered by the internet had broken down and I moved along to other
things. But I wasn't thinking about robotic software until the re-read.
And such is the power of the journal. I can figure out which
parts of the story I want to revisit in my chronographic landscape.
And pick up where I leave off the next day.
Before me lay a complete and illustrated life full of good and bad
events showcasing the results of choice and hesitation, of flow and
motion and the nature of the artwork. I find it hard to revisit entire
months out of the year because I don't want to look directly at the
heartbreak that comes with it. The feelings are just as real now
as they were back then. What the words on the page leave out my
heart fills in with its pain.
But there's good stashed away in the pages of time. Days I am thankful
I can relive as evidenced by the smile drawn across my face as I read.
That's the real treasure of the journal. It's collecting up the best
memories and re-running them in my mind. I've heard some folks fail to
write down the good times. I hear they keep their journals full of the
ills and stresses that cause them to sit and write in an effort to
work through the muck.
But they are missing the treasure coined with every breath,
cemented with every neural pathway. The key to unlocking these
valuables is the daily text. Remarkably, I arrive at the end of
a year and can't believe how many good things there really were. I
can't fathom how I managed to forget them all.
How can one live if you can't remember? The journal helps me answer
the most important questions of my life. It answers the what as well
as the why and gently pauses me for the important reflection and
adjustment I require to make tomorrow better. A well kept, well
dressed journal can re-dispense the wisdom lost in the shuffle of the
days. Replying Time. Revisiting memories. Living all over again is the
stuff of magic.
And here I am, delighted to still be writing the story.