Waking the dead

I sat down this morning to write briefly about last weekend, and while I was trying to decide what category building the cat-cage best suited, I stumbled back across the “In the pursuit of” one, and started reading… right from the beginning, all the way through. I’m surprised to realise that I only stuck with that for four weeks – not even a full month. There wasn’t a whole lot to it, though, in hindsight – most of the entries are along the lines of “yes, I actually did some work which I shouldn’t be especially proud of since I’m meant to do it anyway”. :)

But it referenced in particular one other entry I’d written during that month, which I then went and dug up because I vaguely recalled it, but wanted a more pointed reminder. That entry was +1.

After reading that – and acknowledging yet again that yes, it was a very good entry, and did succinctly summarise how I felt – I am unfortunately feeling all gooey and nostalgic, which is of course immensely dangerous to the well-being and sanity of all those around me. :D I could do just about anything right now – even dig up more #geektree irc logs! I must be stopped! ;)

So I’ve SMS’d Bobo in the hope that she’s not in fact working today, and can drag me outside and away from this dangerous journal. :) I suspect she’s working though. I also should work; I intended to – and still do – once I’d written here.

I’m very glad that I’ve kept this journal – and kept it going for so long, too; over a year now. I don’t think I’ve actually read all the old entries from start to finish as yet, but every other blue moon I do go back and read some. It’s scary at times, but also good to be reminded of things – particularly how I felt and thought of the issues at the time.

There was a recent newspaper article on Michael Palin’s (forgive me if the name’s wrong) journal, which he’s kept on and off for over thirty years, dating back to even before he became famous via Monty Python and whatnot. I found it to be an incredibly interesting article. They quoted some random excerpts, which were very interesting to read. His style – back years ago, at least – was very brief and deliberate; he stated what he’d done for the day in fairly monotonous terms, occasionally saying whether or not he liked something. I’ve shied away from that style myself, for fear of the monotony and the disinterest it leads to, but when I think about it I come around to believing that it’s a good way to write. Too often these days I just write about what I did on the weekend, if and often only if I actually went out and did something “eventful”. That leaves the rest of the week – my life – unrecorded. Sure, the last few weeks I’ve mainly been watching TV & movies, working occasionally, and wasting far too much time playing Alpha Centauri – which, incidentally, crashed the other night, causing me to finally delete it and my save game in sad, quiet frustration.

Anyway, the point is, Palin said something very profound in the article… something like – I’m afraid I can only paraphrase from memory here – “A journal is the antidote to hindsight.” What he meant was – and he explained – is that in hindsight you become overly critical of yourself, and try to over-simplify issues, because you forget about the intricacies, the emotion, the spur-of-the-moment inclinations which were involved in whatever the incident was. A journal, written at the time, records all those supposedly minor players in the drama, so that when you look back in hindsight you are reminded just why you made those decisions, or why that particular thing was such a big deal – or otherwise – at the time.

I read that article about a month ago or so – a while back – when I was increasingly in two minds as to whether I should continue writing here – or at least, publicly. Reading that article and that single line that rings so true, I resolved to continue writing a journal – albeit privately, as necessary.

It’s funny, because in high school and various other times I vaguely recall being encouraged to keep a diary – which many people did at the time – but adamantly refusing to do so. I can’t recall exactly why now… if only I’d kept a journal so I could record why. :D I do recall, however, keeping a very very brief journal in my school diary at some point… it was the year in high school that I had Ms. Mason for English, I remember that much – I once wrote a rather nasty comment about her in the journal, I remember, which she then picked up and read out loud. I can’t remember what it was I wrote, but I seem to recall that while it was perhaps painfully true, it was terribly harsh and completely inappropriate.

It’s funny that I still regret that one ill-tempered scribble, yet I have no idea what I wrote, nor do I recall what resulted from Ms. Mason reading it, aside from a temporary unhappiness, I’m sure.

I shall have to try to find that diary. Unfortunately I haven’t seen it in years – indeed, this is the first time I’ve probably even thought about it in years – so I’m not even sure I still have it. Even if I do, it’ll be at the bottom of some great big heavy box somewhere… :/

I shall endeavour to find it, nonetheless. Maybe there’s something worth remembering recorded there.

I’m very glad that I can easily record and backup my journal now, given the move to the digital world. Even if my fantastic Sony battery in my Powerbook spontaneously exploded right now, taking the entire Powerbook – and my manhood, given it’s current position on my lap – with it, there’d still be the copy online, and I’d lose only this entry and my private ones.

Come to think of it, the private ones are some of the most important ones.

But I have backups of those as well, online and on DVD, and some external hard disks. So I’m pretty well covered.

Anyway, now I want to find that damn diary… curse this stupid nostalgic heart of mine! But Bobo just rang, so I’m walking out the door now. When I get back, perhaps.

I also need a haircut. The “barbers” – even though there were only women in there this morning, both employees and customers – at Bentons Square charge only $10 on Wednesdays – today! – but they scare me a little… I’ve had at least one bad experience in recent memory with random hairdressers – the one in Greensborough, last year or so – which I’m not keen to repeat. I’ve been tempted just to go back to Sarah Doyle’s or whatever it’s called – in the Ritchies complex in Mt. Eliza – where I often went while staying at mum’s, but I feel like such a snob, turning down the Bentons Square hairdresser for a Mt. Eliza one. :D

Anyway, anyway, anyway… I really must go. :)

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