Writing Workshop: Joy
November 20, 2008 § 3 Comments
We were asked to make a list of things that bring us joy, and then pick one to write about.
I have kept a journal since I was eleven, and it brings me joy to look at the number of journals I have filled since then – to look at them en masse and feel the weight of my accomplishment. Here is what I wrote:
The most recent ones are leather and I like running my fingers over their covers, using the tips to trace the nooks and crannies of the worked detail. The oldest one is paper and it feels foreign to the touch. The pages are unlined and my eleven year-old handwriting is all over the place. Sometimes I wrote in sparkly gel pen. Sometimes I wrote things in all capitals, like “LIFE IS SO UNFAIR!” Who is this person? Another early one is devoted entirely to a boy: an entire blank book filled with the melodramatic details of my on-again, off-again high school obsession.
I did not write consistently over the years. That was the rule I gave myself: if I never had to write, I would never be so ashamed of not writing that I couldn’t return. Usually when I strayed, a new sexual experience would bring me back. I may not have written about the past election, or even 9/11, but every and all sexual events have been dutifully recorded.
I glance into the old fashioned wooden chest, filled to the brim with journals – my life in a wooden box – and realize that, to an outsider, my written legacy is little more than a smutty romance novel.