Sunday, March 19, 2006

Betraying my paper journal?

I think I was 8 years old when I first started keeping a journal. The early entries, which were short and dramatic, covered critical topics of the day such as my ambivalence about playing with Toni Ann Capperelli (at least, I think that was her name) and Cabbage Patch Dolls (CPDs). Though not normally a trend follower, I had two CPDs. One was bald and African American. I would like to credit my mother with her progressive doll acquisition values, but something tells me her motives were not so pure. If I know my mother, there was some kind of sale action at the heart of this decision. But, I digress (and it won't be the last time, I assure you). It was also in those early entries that I reveal a pattern that has surely been repeated many times in my life, wherein I censor my feelings -- in this case about An.thony Ia.cocca (at least, I think that was his name) -- in order to promote another person's (Jenn.ifer Mc.Don.ald) happiness over my own. But I didn't censor one choice tidbit. I was apparently (and I quote) "overwhelmed at being out of the fourth grade." That journal is around here somewhere. I gotta find that bad boy. Incidentally, that first one took me YEARS to finish (maybe because it was embarrasingly girly and ugly), but subsequent notebooks were soaked through with ink within months or even weeks. I'm not sure how many journals I have finished. There must be at least a dozen, of all shapes and sizes, some lined, some not, some bound, some ringed. That used to be a big deal to me -- finding just the right form factor. Oh, and don't even get me started about the pen! Color, line thickness, just the right amount of scratchiness... but alas. Ever since I lost my beautiful red Spalding fountain pen, writing hasn't been the same for me. There is a little pain there, if you must know.

Well, twenty-three years later, I am happy to still be writing, but this feels like a betrayal of sorts. This old friend, writing in paper journals, has gotten me through much angst and in the end, like so many horny middle-aged men, I found a newer model. Ugh.

It is with some trepidation, clearly, that I try this out. So the question is, do I dedicate myself to this form of journal keeping and embrace the opportunity to integrate sound and images? Or do I keep a finger in both pies? In my paper journal, I could write anything anytime. With this thing, I don't know. Do I have to write for a specific audience? Who are you? Do I have be focused on some topic? Lordy, say it ain't so! Well, for right now, I think we'll just keep this between me and the lined and bound lime green leather journal at my side.

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