Crown of wires
Originally uploaded by Lynn Park

I’m still mulling over the difference between a blog and a journal. This past week would have been a fruitful one for journaling, if I were still drawn to keep a journal. There was the end-of-the-month melodrama of holding on for a new month and new money (I ended up with $2.57 in the bank). I was really pissed off, again, at someone about whom I had recently gained a fair degree of equanimity. My weight seemed to multiply itself by ten every time I looked in the mirror. Judith had left and Anita hadn’t started yet; I had all the housework and too much solitude despite three appointments and feeling pressured for time.

When I was young, and serious about being a painter, I knew I’d done something good when I had the sense it had the right to exist in the world separate from me. I’m starting to think that blog entries also have some kind of right to exist in the world, in part because they are shaped and deliberate in ways that journal entries typically are not. Even if small, this can make them worthy of protection and possible notice. That disciplined shapeliness may allow me to address deeply personal material in this very impersonal forum in a way I could not risk with material bounded only by feeling.

And there is, of course, the delight of the writing, when correcting a line opens up a new line of thinking. “This past week would have been a fruitful one for journaling . . . “ I can’t remember that I originally wrote, but last week I kept thinking I should be able to take the direct roil of feelings, get them out, and make a blog of them. But this was pretty much coming out of old journal-mind. I know that now; I didn’t know it till I saw myself write “if I were still drawn to keep a journal.”

And felt a palpable sense of rightness. I can do this: I can find a way of looking at my experience the way I look at my photographs, the way I look at the world through my photographs. I’m not still drawn to keep a journal, the eighty-plus notebooks and sketchbooks and hardbound blank books in the closet not withstanding, I don’t have to keep a journal. The fact is, I don’t keep a journal.

I don’t keep a diary/day-book either—and because I don’t, I can’t look back and remember hat I did a week ago Thursday. This bothers me because I feel that I’m losing time. And I think that if I have an entry for each day, like a picket, I can fence my life in and it won’t get away from me. Wrong. I don’t think so.

But I have the present, with its opportunity for occasional insights that recast pissy weeks and lingering shoulds.

Happy Independence Day.

Note: The photograph “Crown of wires” can be found in my photostream at Flickr.com

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