In my youth, I kept the occasional diary in a bound book of some sort with a cover of manufactured or handmade origin. The impetus to actually create entries in said diaries was usually of a traumatic nature. That is to say, something happened in my little life that was so big, it overflowed all traditional means of release (like crying to my mother or complaining to my friends).
The diaries became letters to myself sometime in my early teens. I believe the inspiration for this phase was Mr. Dion's 7th grade English class assignment to write a letter to my future self, seal it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and wait until the appointed time to open it. I suppose he hoped this exercise would shed some light on the issues that were genuinely important in life (at least those as seen through the eyes of a pimple-faced, hormone-injected, 13-year old lunatic).
For most of high school, my calm and premeditated diary-keeping was done in just such an epistolary fashion. More frantic entries occurred in a Garfield blank book. Oh heavens. Off I went to college and I scribbled the important details which required cranial escape into the back pages of spiralbound notebooks. Once, as I recall, I burned some of them with much ceremony and solemnity. 19. Ha.
Graduation. The real world. Many things to vent about then, but still my entries were less than sporadic. The real revelation came when I decided to move from Gray, Maine to Seattle, Washington in 1991. On my 5,000+ mile wending across America, I was resolute in my decision to keep a record of the trip. I wasn't so concerned with my emotions as with empirical details. Time spent driving, money spent on gas, monuments visited. The trip only lasted a couple weeks, and really, I spent most of it driving, fighting with a Triple A triptik, and locating out-of-the-way double diamond rated motels.
It was in Seattle that I started my new life as a journaller. No longer could I call these accounts of my life "diaries:" the term was too juvenile. I was 25 years old and had just left everything I knew behind to create some sort of new life for myself on the other side of the country. There was a lot to write about.
I started in the leftover spiralbound notebooks of my college days, but upon discovering that I could use the Lake City Library for one hour per day (and with a little inspiration from the insipid television show 'Doogie Howser, M.D.'), I began keeping my journals in Word documents. I've done this with remarkable consistency ever since. More than 13 years, hard to believe. Some months, the journals are tiny -- two sentences, and usually about how I haven't written anything lately. Sometimes, they are titanic. In the month I contracted EBV, I typed 129 single-spaced pages.
In the past couple years, they have become much less detailed. I attribute this to Ted. He is my sounding board; so all the things I once thought out by entering them into journals, are now discussed with an actual human being. :-) He has done wonders for my soul, and the decrease in journal entries was a small price to pay.
I do come back to the journals once in a while. But it's amazing how many big events in my life I have not entered, in the past year in particular. I've a hankering to get back into it. Maybe a new blog will be just the impetus this time around. Welcome to the 21st century. Are there really people out there who want to read my ramblings online? I guess I'll find out.
Creating this blog was accidental. I signed up for an account so that I could create a signed entry on someone else's blog (my friend, Josh Katinger, who recently wrote about the death of our friend, Mark Tarsi). I think Josh has inspired me, at least momentarily, to give the blog world a try.
The name I'd hoped to give my blog was already taken (which lays to rest any notion I had that I might still have an iota of originality in me). So instead, I've tapped deep into the well for sanguinary blue.
About 10 years ago, I created and ran a poetry group on AOL. It was actually designed for tandem haiku (if you really want to know more about this silly concept of mine, I'll be happy to tell you). The haiku were sometimes marvelous and often, well, silly. But I did make a great many online friends through this forum. One such friend was Wally Page.
He and I wrote a tandem poem about the difficulty we were having actually catching up with each other. Hopefully, Wally won't mind that I reprint the interesting -- if somewhat obtuse and pretentiously arty -- work here (we lost track of each other years ago). Wally contributed the first paragraph: the remainder is my response. If you aren't already aware, Corene Ellis Young is my nom de plume. Another long story.
Azure by D. Walter Page and Corene Ellis Young
tried to write
insanity full of ink
fountain pen broke shit
now the ink runs on
blurred vision I
blots out light,
blots out reality.
that stab skies.
artist's means and emotions
I like the image of a pen bleeding, hence "sanguinary blue." As if there's so much to be said that the ink can't flow fast enough, so it bleeds instead. I liked the concept of "unintentional masterpieces," too, but again, it's a bit pretentious (even if it is tempered by a lack of calculation and/or ambition).
And thus begins my new blog. I haven't the vaguest idea where it goes from here. But at least now I can add a post to Josh's site.