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LIGHT TOMORROW WITH TODAY*
Every time something happens to interrupt the flow of words to this journal—vacations, business trips, illnesses, general maniac busyness—I find it harder to get back on track. There was a time, some years ago, when for a whole year and then some I actually wrote something nearly every day. Every day! What perserverance I must have had then, back when I was a young thing, with sparkles in my eyes and a spring in my step.**

Then I decided to cut myself some slack and you can see, if you look at my journal calendars, that I began slacking and never looked back. Now it sometimes feels like there are more gaps than entries posted here. That's not something I'm proud of, but it seems to be a natural tendency, a rhythm that swoops along and carries me with it, will I or won't I.

Did you know that's where the phrase "willy-nilly" comes from? Will he or nill he. Will I or nill I? Some days, I will and some days? I darn well nill.

Often I think, when I'm pondering things to write about here, that I've already written about them. I've already written about my favorite memories, shared reminiscences that moved me to laughter or to tears. I've already told about the popsicles in the garage box freezer in my grandmother's house and the art portfolio my father made for me out of cardboard and green duct tape.

I hesitate to repeat myself. I do a little mental stutter and retreat. I no longer seem to trust the organizational abilities of my own mind to come up with items of suitable freshness and je ne sais quois. And I'm convinced I write about writing too much. (see? here I go again) Sheesh, lizardek, flog that deadbeat horse! Writing...as if it's so I N T E L L E C T U A L or something.

What I want to know is, more than I want to know why the birds always seem to be flying in formation in the WRONG DIRECTION around here, is how to motivate someone to write. Oh, not myself! I know exactly how to motivate myself. I just can't always be bothered to do it. Heh. No, what I really want to do is motivate someone else. Someone whose wisdom and stories and history and experience are irreplaceable. When I look at the stack of neatly bound, shiny-covered books that represent the first 3.5 years of writing I've done here, what I see is a gift to my children, and to their children, and theirs. I wish my parents (and their parents, and THEIRS) had kept journals, had written down their daily doings and their thoughts and jokes and the silly things their children did and said when they were growing up, the way I am.

I hope my children will read my journals some day and be as appreciative of them as I would be of my mom's if I could motivate her to write. How much more alive would that make the flat outline of the family tree? It would flesh out countless leaves with humor and happenings and the rustling buzz and whisper of life.

So, I keep starting again, after every interruption, every illness and trip and week full of appointments and activities and stuff to do. I don't want to lose the thread completely, because there really is an ulterior motive here for me, in the writing.

It all boils down to supreme selfishness. I want to be remembered, of course, even if it's just by my great-great-grandchildren who dig my journals out of some musty attic boxes with "KITCHEN" written on the side in scrawling black marker. Even if it's just MY children who read them when they're 40 and suddenly see things from the other side and maybe understand a little better who the person behind the mother mask was.

*Elizabeth Barrett Browning
**Same year I turned, um...29. Coincidence? You be the judge.
 drained
mood: drained
music: Katie Melua—If You Were a Sailboat


Comments

I always appreciate what you write, your obvious delight in language, and your ability to put into words (even made-up words!) what you see and hear and feel, and I don't even know you!

It's an interesting idea in this time when there are so many memoirs being written, the idea that how we see ourselves and the world and ourselves in the world as important. I think it's important--it's what unites us as humans and individuates us. But I know most people tend not to process their lives in words, and can't be persuaded to do so, no matter the interest to posterity. And for the rest of us, there are blogs.

How did you print out your journal? I vaguely remember you in the process of doing it, but I don't know how you did it.

www.lulu.com :) Super easy!

And I'm happy you continue. I love my daily (nearly) peak into your corner of the world. And your kids WILL appreciate it.

Aw, thanks. I know YOURS will, too. :) And I love my glimpses into your world as well; they fill me up with joy!

(Anonymous)
hey now--

you've been sick! really SICK! give yourself a break, wouldja'?

and now I'm gonna go crawl under the covers and pass out . .

~bp

Re: hey now--

And I'm STILL sick!! It's got to go away sometime, right? Please tell me I'm right!!

A great post here. Why write? You've explained yourself (and many of us) well.

Actually, I find you very reliable when it comes to letting us all know you're still alive and what you've been busy doing.
I've noticed the birds flying the wrong way too. Let us know if you run into a bird-watcher who can explain... hey we have a resident biologist on LJ - Kejn?

I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed. Running outside and waving my arms at them while yelling "Wrong way! Wrong way!" didn't seem to be an option. :D

Well, compared to ME writing, far more prolific you are! I enjoy my lizardek peeks, although I sometimes go long stretches without writing OR rewading even on here. Life gets busy, but I keep finding myself back here sooner or later, and enjoying the catch-up I can do. Sitting here in my own apartment, usually late at night on a night off... bringing another's thoughts and perspective to mind, if but briefly. ;)

Your comment about being remembered though... THAT caught my attention. I mean, there are ways and then there are ways, of being remembered. Written is usually the longest lasting, but there have been some amazing oral traditions passed down for hundreds of years if not longer, also.

Living as you do in Sweden, maybe your children will erect a runestone in memoriam. I can't imagine a much more touching way to be remembered... :D

Best of health and warm wishes,
Leif

WRITING...

Nice try Liz. but l didnt get me motivated enough to actually write something in my LJ.
but at least I am posting pictures again. maybe someone will remember those after i am feeding worms and pushing up daisies.

hmmm...
(quick back to lurking...)
Unkie Johnny

You are a brave soul, but then you're writing with a purpose (to leave something to future generations). I, on the other hand, would prefer NOT to remember most of what I've written. I don't mean that in a self-deprecating way, but just that once it's out, it's often not very interesting to me. :) A few months ago, I got an out-of-the-blue email from a high school friend. She wanted to send me something I'd written at 18 (could only have been a letter since I didn't write anything other than letters as a teen). I didn't even respond. I know, that's rude...but good god, I can't imagine anything I'd rather NOT read! (CRINGE) :)

(Anonymous)

oh crud......you're making me feel guilty, bad, ......but maybe not enough! I even (briefly) thought about using the tape recorder, but that's so out-of-date, and no fun just talking to myself.... alone with the black box! I'll start trying to visualize the results and appreciations instead. Maybe that would help with the motivation! Love, Lizardmom

heh! Well, I wasn't wanting to make you feel GUILTY exactly...but hey, whatever works! :P

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