unable to settle in; therefore I write diary [sic.]
One of the reasons I write is to calm the swirling, seething storm in my mind. Admittedly that sounds dramatic, but it’s accurate enough. Before I begin typing, it’s as if I’m sitting cross legged before a churning cyclone that has caught up an assortment of images, words, sounds, feelings, impressions, phrases, intentions, desires and there they all are, going around and around and nothing will stay still long enough for me to focus on it until I make the first keystroke : at that moment, time slows or switches into a different gear and I find a track along which to glide, or a slender thread I can follow with my fingertips as I wander through dark, twisty passages. V.W. writes, “How often I have said this! An odd psychological fact—that I can write when I’m too jangled to read.” I write to become unjangled, to dejangle the mental field. And yes, it’s true, if I’m too jangled, some clearing out and calming down must be imposed before I can find the proper reading gear, otherwise my childish attention will errantly chase pretty little butterflies rather than sticking to the task at hand. V.W. continues: “Moreover, I want to leave as few pages blank as possible; & the end of the year is only some three weeks off.” Oh how alike we are, Virginia—in some respects.
Last December , I purchased one of those nice little Moleskine diaries for 2023. My original plan wasn’t to keep a diary like V.W.’s in it, but it was to be a place to keep track of my writing, a place to record what I work on each day, to be also a kind of word account book so that I could see how productive I’ve been, and also to hold myself accountable : no day without a line, write something so that no goose eggs are entered in the tally box for that day. But this Moleskine diary came with something like 50 blank pages (in addition to the calendar apparatus) that I now feel responsible for filling. I don’t like to leave notebooks unfilled. Call it a superstition. Any notebook with blank pages is a possible site for an unwelcome incursion. There’s no telling what might end up in those pages left blank. Best to fill them so the monsters can’t creep through or find some foothold, an entry point for a secret invasion. Perhaps I will end up writing a “Year in Review” in the 30 or so pages that I still have left with only about three weeks left to go. And maybe I will fill a few pages with my hopes, dreams, and aspirations for the coming year.
Yes, yes … a hot bath would be welcome on this cool, rainy day. A perfect day to sit by the fire and read after I’ve sufficiently unjangled.