People keep journals for all kinds of reason. Some people find it cathartic, the pouring out of their worries, fears, hopes and dreams onto a page that they may or may not revisit. When I was a teenager my diary was filled with the angst that comes with going to high school; girlfriends, crushes, pimples and all the rest. I remember going back and re-reading one entry and immediately being so swept up in those feelings again that I pitched the whole diary.
Into the garbage.
Destined for the burn barrel.
Never again did I want to re-live THAT particular moment. Funny, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was that caused me to throw the whole thing out. All I remember is that I was so utterly embarrassed by the incident and that I had left evidence of it in a book, I felt the only thing I could do was to destroy the entire thing.
We lived with my grandparents at the time. I threw the diary into the garbage. In fact, I buried it under the scraps of potato and plastic wrap (long before the time of composting and recycling). It was gross but I had to shove it in deep for fear that it would be retrieved by unwanted eyes.
Fast forward a few hours and we are all sitting together for dinner. As was the usual, there were 10 or 12 of us sitting down for Sunday dinner. Bumpah (my grandfather) at one end and Noodles (my grandmother) at the other. Father McManus (a Catholic family, Father McManus was a long-time close family friend that visited regularly) as well as me, my brother, my Mom and an assortment of Aunts and Uncles.
Bumpah cleared his throat.
We all looked up.
He began to recite:
“I used to think this year was going to be pink and pretty. But it’s turned out to be pretty shitty.”
And then he tapped the breast pocket of his overalls. And I saw my tossed diary peeking out.
The design was black with little pink flowers.
Father McManus yelled Silentium. (Silence in Latin)
There was a long conversation about whether or not Bumpah had invaded my privacy. He figured it was headed for his burn barrel and so, in effect, the diary belonged to him.
Yes, it was awful. Yes, a COMPLETE invasion of privacy and yes it was an UTTERLY horrible moment.
But I’ve got a sense of humour and looking back I laugh.
I don’t keep a diary now. But I do like to write little bits like one.
And we keep a Grocery List Book. I like this kind of journal keeping. It’s here that we plan the day-to-day dinners but it’s also here that we plan birthday parties, Christmas Dinners and, my favourite, Thanksgiving Dinner. I love looking back and seeing those moments in time. What we ate and who came.
Do you keep a journal or a diary of some kind? We’d love to know! Post a comment and we’ll enter your name in a draw for…you guess it! A journal!