Monday, September 04, 2006

Mood Journals

Many years ago, around the age of about 16 or 17, I began writing into notebooks on a regular basis.

These were not ordinary "diaries" etc where a rigourous daily update of events were recorded for posterity. I decided that was not my style very early on. Instead I went more for the spontaneous writing of thought whenever the "mood" striked. My "mood" journals subsequently have large gaps of time where there is nothing recorded. However, I have a slightly different record of my life from that of a tradional diary. It was like an early version of blogging I guess, writing about the things I thought about rather than always about the stuff that just happened in a day. All on paper and with that, still useful, device called The Pen! :)

I have kept those journals and I was looking back through some of them just a few minutes ago. Occasionally I do have dated events recorded, like the date I was found to have Glaucoma (11 August 1987 in St Paul Minnesota USA), but mostly, my old journals are filled with ramblings, ideas for stories, poetry, notes and observations about the things happening in my life at the time, plots and ideas for drama and meeting notes from conventions and youth gatherings.

The writing is hard to read! I have a rather large and loopy, florid kind of handwriting style and I was never one to be very "neat" when it came to getting things down on paper!

Its also interesting to see how my attitudes and beliefs about some things have changed over these past 20 + years. I was however, "right" about the whole Iraq thing back at the time of the first Gulf War! I'd written "I feel very pessimistic about all this!" on the 16 January 1991. I still feel that way even after all these years! It has been an extraordinary nightmare this 'America & some of the rest of the world' vs Iraq hasn't it?

The most notable thing about my mood journals is the strong devotion I had (still have :)) to my Faith! I have many "prayers" written in my journals and they seem quaint and child-like now but also poignant and kind of honest too in many ways. I think perhaps I am my most honest when I pray because I instinctively know that I can't hide anything from God anyway. :)

I used to wonder if my writings would ever become of value to anyone else in the future. I know it sounds very pretentious to have thought or wanted that, but I believed in my skill as a writer even back then and deeply desired that what I had to say was going to make an impact for the betterment of mankind in some way - and be remembered for it!

I'm not so sure I want this now. Some of the material in these journals is now so odd and contrived it would not make much sense to anyone in the future at all really!

Being "famous" isn't something to which I now aspire anyway ;) I would much rather make an impact on just one persons life than on many lives and now that I have kids... I think I've pretty much covered that aspiration! :) So I am not really that concerned what happens with my old journals now, after I am gone! If my kids decide to destroy them then thats fine. They served their purpose in giving me an outlet for my voice in my youth and for that I'm grateful.

The interesting development is that these hand-written journals may forever remain a silent witness to my life and mind, when I originally wanted to tell the world what was in them, whilst this blog perhaps will live on much, much longer with potentially many people reading the thoughts of my head in here!

Does this "worry" me? I have no idea! It depends... on whether I live the next 20 + years to be able to look back and be intrigued or embarrassed that people have read these odd and contrived things from my life and mind at this time! :)

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