I started keeping a diary at an early age.
Back then, I used differently scented and variously colored pens for my scribbles. Ink that smelled of strawberry and orange, bubblegum and cookies would float up each time I opened the diary. My eleven year old self alive and well within its pages.
All my inner workings unfettered in a stream of consciousness. Bold and irregular scrawl when excitable or angry. Neat and tight language with little hearts dotting the “i’s” when calm and contemplative. Sometimes the entry reads as a furiously fast regurgitation of emotion with an overabundance of punctuation marks and underscoring; deep grooves from my heavy angry hand imprinted onto the patient blank pages that await to absorb it all.
At times the writing is borderline incoherent in its disorderliness. There are digression filled rants, delicate and elegant considerations, noxious foul mouthed lashings, surprise realizations, idyllic fantasies. There is self-doubt and self-deprecation and later on there is pride and gratitude. And all of it contained (preserved and trapped) within the covers of my diary, between pages that bear witness to the mess, the cries, the drunkenness, the joy, the depravity of it all. The pages accept it – every last bit of it; never judging and never sentencing.
Safe from the world and its inhabitants there is no need to hold back. I can voice the unthinkable, the unmentionable. It is within these diary pages that unadulterated, unedited, uncensored pure uncontaminated TRUTH exists.
We have been fortunate to glean much from the discovery of private correspondence (love letters are especially telling of both people and customs) or journals and personal diaries that shed light on enigmatic personalities unwilling to unbutton themselves in public. And so we have been able to learn of the deepest darkest secrets of royalty and spies, courtesans and partisans, painters and poets and everyone in between.
I want to immure or bury my diary for some future generation to find. I don’t want to do this out of any sense of grandeur or importance, rather because it gives me a sense of purpose and connection. It makes me feel less ephemeral and temporary knowing that the abstract will be made tangible, through my words, for someone that I will never meet. They may see some similarities or be thoroughly shocked by it. They may love it or hate it, find it educational or silly rot, but the fact that they are reading it will be their connection to the past, through the articulation of another place and time, that no longer exists, of which I was a part.