I have a number of journals, most of which my family is convinced are filled with a conscious stream of lunacy. They are dreading my death because they will be faced with the dilemma:
a) do we preserve and disseminate an important and irreplaceable bit of our family history because it undoubtedly contains lots of indicting and embarrassing information about every family member?, or b) do we destroy and bury an important and irreplaceable bit of our family history because it undoubtedly contains lots of indicting and embarrassing information about every family member?
I believe in journals, even when the content is less than perfect prose, or perhaps even embarrassing. Journals capture something that photos, videos and multimedia cannot. In journals we have an opportunity to be thoughtful and reflectively express complex ideas and feelings. Photos, videos and multimedia better capture moments, which invite speculation by the viewer about the feelings of the subject presented. Visual media can be art, whereas written journals represent life--at least as viewed by the author.
Accordingly, I have encouraged my family to keep journals. I am certain these recordings will be of great value someday. My kids have been variously committed to journal keeping in different forms. I sent a couple of boxes from our attic down to Darcee in Portland. One of these boxes contained a journal of when Darcee was 7 years old. She texted to all of us the entry related Sydney's birth.
I usually keep a travel journal whenever I travel. I had almost completed a small journal that included my thoughts and feelings when I visited the Ann Frank house in Amsterdam. I lost that journal on my last trip to Europe. Such a loss for me is incalculable. As disappointed as I am in that loss, I am equally joyful that Darcee discovered one of her childhood journals and was willing to share some poignant and rather mature thoughts she expressed as a young girl trapped in the crazy environment we call family.
2 weeks ago