Currently listening to: Mike Barnet's red album, which reminds me of the various Mike shows I've been to, most notably the ones at the Roxy and the M Bar in Hollywood. Good, good memories. Also reminds me of the time in my life that I was dating a guy who shared an apartment with a member of Mike's band.
I was reading a friend's blog last night (thanks for the springboard, Dave) and his recent post on archiving made me think. He was talking about how we collect things and keep them over the years as records of our past and how we feel like we have to hang on to all these things. It got me thinking about my journals. I kept a journal for 14 years, from the time I was 12 until I was about 26. I stopped about the time I got married, when I discovered that talking to my best friend Nathan was a far better outlet than writing all my feelings out. I still write sometimes, but the journal is retired. It was never a cheesy "dear diary" type of journal. I kept it in 5 subject spiral bound notebooks. So now I have 10 volumes of this thing sitting in a box in my closet. And I have no idea what to do with it. I may read through it again someday, but something tells me that's not a good idea. Nostalgia is a tricky thing and going over the past too much has a way of making me discontent with the present. Why is it we only remember things as being ideal?
I sometimes think that I'll keep my journals as something to pass on to my daughter someday, should I have one. I think it would be neat for her to be able to read the things I thought about and experienced and realize that she's not alone in her feelings, and that dopey old mom actually might understand some things after all. But then, there are things in my journals that I'm not sure I want my children to know about me. And I can't very well edit them. That wouldn't be fair.
I've instructed Nathan to destroy my journals, should anything happen to me. But why can't I do it before then? Why don't I just destroy them now? I think I feel like I'll lose that part of my life if I get rid of them. It's a really weird feeling. And even if the events I wrote about seem small to me now, the journal itself was such a huge part of my life. I remember staying up until all hours to write, hauling my journal around to school, to the beach, to classes, wherever. It went with me to Colorado, to Corona del Mar, to Trafalgar Square, to the Huntington Library, to
Thailand, to China. It's been everywhere. So I don't think I can ever bring myself to destroy it. It would be like willfully destroying part of my memory. But will it ever matter to anyone but me? I doubt it. It's nice to think that somewhere down the line someone will discover it and treasure it. But how realistic is that? Not very. For now, I guess it will just stay in the closet, and maybe someday I'll pull it out and maybe I'll laugh at it, and maybe I'll cry. Who knows?