Is there a literary truth which transcends the literal facts in a journal?
All journalists recording anything other than the weather "novelize" the narrative to some extent. I always believe it is important that my journal show the banal side of my life. I do not mind that I tend to repeat themes, or keep hitting at the same few writing exercises over and over. It's not so much that I wallow in imperfection or banality. It's that the colors with which I limit my palette should be no more, nor less, limited than the limited colors with which I live my life.
Among my LJ friends (leaving aside my sister in law), gregwest98, scott_m and kenmora, real life friends prior to LJ, know me best. But I do not believe that they really know me that much better through reading my LJ, when an evening's torrent of words might reveal the same truths, with the nuance of emotion inherent in a real, live voice.
I get into ruts in which I am less satisfied with my recent posts. I find myself both unduly wordy and genuinely pseudo-intellectual. But guess what? That's who I am in real life, too. They're not even particularly cloying traits in real life, because they're just a few ingredients of the particular batch of banana cookies of which I'm comprised.
But I read my journal and wonder--am I showing here? Do you out there "see" me? Is this some dance of the seven veils, but Heaven help us all if any veils fall?
It's like an endless 12 step program--"Hi, I'm Robert, but you can call me Bob, and I keep a weblog". Of course, lately my steps include chess (anticipation and hopes of non-failure with the first tournament I've run in years coming up Saturday), guppies (although it's been 3 years since I've had a tank), and business travel (easily the least scintillating topic, as I tend to go to the same 3 cities over and over). I do not think it would be more enlightening to post "I sat in a conference room for 10 hours today in meetings, and I was pleased with how they went". But why not?
I believe in the credo of the Worthless Words Workshop, which lacks any credo at all. I believe that among people of good will expending heart and soul, all words are worthless, and thus there are no particularly worthless words.
But as I read more journals, and realize they are not to be taken literally, I must learn better how to accept them as myth and metaphor, and use them to teach me something. Maybe I learn something about the people who write. Maybe I merely learn something about myself.
Does it really matter if the metaphoric world was created in 7 days? As to the one or two journals in which I suspect the
facts of the journals are drastically altered for dramatic effect, is that important? The question perhaps betrays a banality of outlook to which I'll gladly confess.
I find that I read my own journal entirely literally. I am a fundamentalist about my own thoughts and feelings. I like that I trust myself. I wonder, a bit, if I should. Oh, I'm not a person who's much different than what I read. But if I'm going to believe in a subconscious, then I have to accept that "I do that which I would not do". You know, Rosemary's baby has hooves. All that.
I like that I can capture moments, like sitting in a Thai restaurant watching girl groups sing in Thai. But what have I captured? How much cynanide is in the jar? Are the wings damaged by the net?
I feel a sort of backlog of tasks and plans, just when I feel I am finally getting to a "right work, right life" place. When one is, as I am, blessed with the gift of fundamental contentment, then one must trust one's mind as to what needs changing. One's mind and one's eye--one's mind eye, if you will.
I like that line from the song in the musical "He has a thousand dreams, that won't come true. You know that he believes in them, and that's enough for you". Perhaps that is the closest to self-therapy I come. I'm not sure. I just write it all in a weblog, chapter, and verse.
In the middle remains the word, and the word is God, and the word is flesh, and the word is infinite.