Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

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In the hall of mirrors, nobody thinks you look strange

I've been pondering how much I enjoy reading swaths of peoples' journals. It's very nice, of course, to read day by day passages of what people write, and to live a journal in "real time". I also like to go back to people's early entries--as to both friends list folk and non-friends list folk--and read large series of days at a time. I'm intrigued by how there are essentially two types of people. Type One, we'll call it, being one of two types, writes all the Key Plot Details in the first month of her/his journal. Bones are rattled, bones are described,and all the rather vulgar bone puns could be made here. I am not into vulgar puns, though. I am into reading journals.

Type Two, we'll call it, being the second type, spends the first month in coy allusion and witty observation, before spilling the "guts" of the writer's innermost themes in the second month. Some journals, of course, are typeless (and a few, like the face of God, are immutable and changeless). But overall, most folks have Great Revelations to make, and usually make them in the first 60-120 days of the journal. This makes for fascinating reading, of course. I am endlessly intrigued that although there are only 7 deadly sins, 9 circles of hell and two tennis-playing Williams sisters, we all imagine that our personal dramas draw on new life and new civilization, that they boldly go where no person has gone before.

I personally feel that we *are* all individual, as are raindrops and fingerprints. Like raindrops and fingerprints, we are all special. Like raindrops or fingerprints, lots of our little idiosyncracies can be filed away in large drawers, to be savored by the collector, but perhaps not recognized as individual works of divinity by the casual observer. I feel as though I am one of those monastic brothers in a dark, candle-lit room, though, as so many manuscripts contain things that enchant me, delight me, and disquiet me about my faith(s). It rarely matters how poorly illuminated the illustrations may be, nor how non-standard the prose. I like reading them journals, no two ways around it. When I find a journal I think particularly well written, I am able to figure out
one more half hour of pleasant escape. I never knock pleasant escape, or satori on a hyperlink.

Last night I tried to add a bit of natural wonder to my own journal. My journal would be savaged in reality_review, because I am like the reviewed journal in which the journal-keeper had "no real idea of HTML". I had a disk of photos I had taken of outdoor scenes. Two were
workable/watchable. I had a website that I understood I had configured appropriately to receive these works of natural beauty, so I could share with all of you just how pasture-like and prosaic are the pale pleasant places I ply my playtimes in. I loved the one of the cedar tree in the weeds. But over and over, the webphotoalbum proclaimed "100% uploaded" simultaneously with "no picture received". I wish I had the excuse that I am intellectually incapable of understanding how to do this type of thing. That's not quite it. I am just so impatient that I refuse to learn to do anything that requires detailed mechanical or direction-following effort. I am one of those people who can intuit the universe from the light of a firefly, but heaven forbid that I might learn how to light a match on a new type of matchbox.

Last night, I felt a moment's urge to bewail my lack of cybersavoir faire over this "I can't even upload an (expletive deleted) photo" dilemma. I also gave a puzzled glance at my poetry book nervousness exchange, in which a re-bookcovering project involving modelling clay and construction paper has sadly gone awry, which may require much clayscraping and some repainting. We'll omit mention of how I've misplaced the card with the cool yarn on it which I am supposed to answer with a pic on corruplast in exchange, and how the person involved's address is "confidential" on nervousness and how the computer filing cabinet did not store the address. Let's move on to inspiration.

I had a wave of inspiration. I saw those Kodak Advantix pix of the Trinity Trail I had taken. I saw those cool looking stamps of the 50 states, or rather those of the 50 states not mailed out or pasted gratuitously on the side of packages, being more artistic than any artistamp I could make. I looked at my one dollar set of 24 colored markers. I heard an angel's voice (or was it Sarah Brightman, only with a better lyricist?) saying "postcardx, you can do postcardx". I love being able to do things I can actually do. I can actually address the back of a photo and send it to a stranger. So I did--eight photos in fact. They are now winging respectively to 7 states, and to Canada. Why do I feel this compulsion to share nature photos of
north Texas with others? Why do birds sing? Why do Livejournals spill their revelations? Besides, this will help me cope with the sea of throwaway camera photos I have accumulated. I notice that people seem to like receiving them, in a way that my sketches of plants or blue squids never seem to inspire.

A few weeks ago, I was re-reading my own journal. What a hall of mirrors. I like that no matter what I write, I am still me. It is a curse, a blessing, and a comfort. I used to say that the whole world were like me, it would be a less efficient, more hesitant but perhaps better place.
But now I'm not ready for categorical explanations. I'm ready to mail cards and packages and get cards and packages. I'm ready to write journals and read journals. I'm ready to do my work, and dream my dreams and care about the things I need to care about. I'll pray often, understand little, and think all the time. I'm ready to pause for a moment, and feel that moment extend into infinity, and then write it in my Livejournal.
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