Thursday, January 17, 2013
"Every year about now, I feel the need to keep a journal...I walk past the blank books--gifts of nothingness--that pile up in bookstores this season, and I can almost hear their clean white pages begging to be defaced...if I do give in, this is what I have in mind. I want to count the crows in the field every afternoon. I want to record the temperatures, highs and lows, every day and measure the rain and snow. If a flock of turkeys walks into the barnyard, I want to mention the fact. If one of the horses throws a shoe, I want to say so, in writing, before I call the farrier; and I'd like to be able to tell from my journal just how many bales of hay I have squirreled away in the barn."
For those among us who live more prosaic lives and don't have the cawings of crows to mark our mornings and evenings as their flight pattern crosses over the quiet, snow dusted street we live on and who have no noble beasts snorting sweet hay scented, steamy breath into our faces as we rub their noses, what do we record and keep memories of? How many bed changes I made in my 12 shift? How many times I replied, "No, you can't have any water. No, you can't get out of bed. No, I can't give you scissors to cut these ties.You've had a stroke and can't move your left side" ? Cause that would be 467. Before I stopped counting. Some things I don't want to remember at the end of the day. That's why God invented The Big Bang Theory. I bought 10 gallons of gas last evening on my way home at $3.19/gallon. Might be handy with a copy of the receipt as proof in twenty years or so when I want to talk about "back in the day." But I talk about that now and proof/facts are overrated.
I began keeping a journal of sorts when the girls were much younger. After my husband said to me at the end of one year and probably after he read some crazy relative's Christmas letter, "Why don't we ever do anything?" I did not want to cut him in his sleep and get myself sent off to Marysville, so I began keeping track of our family doings in a large accountant's ledger and it became an easy place to tape in report cards, that year's Halloween costume ideas, the movies, the overnights, funeral mass prayer cards,wedding programs, weekend camping trips, the soccer and volleyball game schedules, the best Christmas card we received as voted on by the HamiFamily, the fallspringwinter recitals, first communion, confirmation & graduation programs, maybe a recipe, and lots and lots of photos. All the refrigerator graffiti that I couldn't toss found a new home.
The girls got older and moved out, photos are obsolete and my days are no longer centered around schedules and driving someone somewhere. So again, what to record? What to mark and measure my days by? What do you all write, or do you?
By the way, the temperature here today is 31. It's grey, grey, grey. Kinda like living in Blade Runner.