Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Keeping records: diaries

That was it. My mom had discovered my diary. I felt 12 again. That´s the age I was when I had written that diary back in the summer of 1979. A diary I could not even remember having written when it was found in 2011. 
I was using every delaying trick in my book while desperately trying to remember. I was almost sure I hadn´t mentioned the butterfly necklace incident. Had I written that Mónica had smoked after school one day? She could sooooooo get into trouble next time our moms talked.
“Oooohhhhh! Errrrmmmm. Yesssss. Those magazines. Were there any Christmas issues? They were my favourites.” I mumbled, but mom was not falling for that. “Yes, there were two Christmas issues at the top. Your diary was at the bottom”.
A few months before the discovery I had been contacted on line by a friend from those days who had linked me to another one. We hadn´t met since finishing our primary school and barely seen each other on line. The day after I got my diary the three of us were there on Facebook at the same time. We decided to meet again and read the diary together.
Isabel, Paula and Suky in 2011
Here are two double spreads from my diary.
The first was written in November 1979 (aged 12 and 9months)  It represents the writer, my storyteller with a camera side. It is a story mostly fictional and over the top sentimental but based on real characters. It mentions my cousin and her age, not even a year old then. Alexandra is 35 now with her own 9 year old son. She is my son´s Godmother and a fellow animé lover who we meet at conventions. I drew a scene from the story and zoomed in, as I would now with my digital camera.
Almost like an early version of my blogging, back in 1979

The second was written in February 1980, a few days before my 13th birthday. It represents my memory keeper side. I wrote exactly what each of us had for dinner out at a fancy restaurant and the cost of the souvenirs I bought. I still have some of the items I mention!

I didn´t include any of my “end of school” pages that I read with Isabel and Adriana as they are full of people´s names and I didn´t feel comfortable posting them. Not to mention the “who likes who” stories!!!  Lol.

As I told you a couple of weeks ago when we were discovering our creativity cycles and how our energy flow, in our old diaries there are signs of who we are right there in our words, in what we found important, in what we noticed and recorded.  I found the writer, the storyteller, the camera holder, the memory keeper in those pages.

Do you follow Julia Cameron´s recommendation of morning pages? Those are three handwritten pages to be used as a brain cleaning and compass calibrating exercise.
I always do them for long haul projects like the 70 chapters of "The Sound of Paper".

Tell me. Do you keep a diary?

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misteejay said...

I do keep a regular diary but it contains notes of things to come rather than a journal type.

I think whilst growing up I started many journals/diaries but always gave up after a while. My blog has to be the nearest I have to a long-term 'diary'.

Toni xx

Sian said...

I don't keep a diary and never have, but my sister wrote one as a teenager and interestingly I have enjoyed going back and reading what she recorded about MY life at the time. Wish I'd been writing one too, then!

Veronica Roth said...

This is so amazing! You know, Chloe kept summer journals ever since she was 8yrs old. I have all those journals and once in a while C loves to reread them. It's exciting for her because I always dragged her into Europe for the summers. :)

Kelly M said...

I have kept a diary since I was about 12. But I long ago burned them all and now keep an online diary using the Penzu app. I sort of miss writing with a real pen on real paper, tucking things like ticket stubs between the pages. But I don't miss the clutter of keeping hard copies! I love a simple life with very few possessions and almost nothing to collect dust or dust mites.

Crystal said...

I've never had a diary...yes I write true stories but diaries can be so personal and of course when I was a teen I would have died if one of my siblings or especially my mother had found it!

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Oh, yes Toni! Blogs as diaries count. It is your story that matters.

I wonder if you kept memorabilia or took pictures back then Sian.

I had summer journals too Veronica! They became useful when my family couldn´t remember what we had done when. :D

You have a very interesting point there Kelly about the gathering of paper. I recently got rid of a lot but I´m still a memory keeper.

I heavily edited what I wrote Crystal! Still do. Or as Kelly says write and burn.

Anne Butera said...

Haha! I was going through some of my old diaries a while back and found some really funny things I had written about the boys that my friend and I were "in love with". I just had to email her and share and we both had a good laugh. I also found another funny entry where I wrote a page about all sorts of silly things, including more about these boys and then at the bottom of the page a p.s. about how the Berlin Wall had just come down.

I wonder if I will laugh as much at the diary I keep now as I did about that old one.


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