The first time I wrote in a “proper” diary I think I would’ve been in year 6 so about 12 years old. It was part of the class curriculum to keep a diary of what we did that day. The habit “kind of” stuck with the following years pouring out into diaries and journals of various shapes and sizes with equally inconsistent regularity.
Even as I started opening up my scrambly egg head to the Internets, I kept the sporadic beating offline as well. I have one diary offline that captures my entire adolescence. It is amazing!
But I rarely have time to read back on any of it.
Not the case with a present from my friend Karla. It is called Keels Simple Diary and it makes re-reading who you think you are, a pleasure. Each day contains some seriously great prompts to get you thinking differently about your day, or what you thought you would say. Each page for that day, is small enough to force even the most avid Twitter user to look for better ways to be succinct, while conveying meaning. Personal struggle with that, but worth it.
Because when you read back to that day when you lost your job and yet you followed the Keels prompts to say the day was “a cold shower” and you ticked “you cope”… it is more uplifting than reading your more verbose entry in the normal diary about how the jerk who said “we don’t see eye to eye” was a shortsighted sexist moron who ran a boys club for brits and should be introduced to his inner-self by a car crusher.
Which diary entry is more indicative of how you might’ve felt?
I don’t know but Keel’s Simple Diary, certainly makes a good read, no matter who you are.
Bored followers of my stupid ranting, will be acutely aware that my family have just sludged through a bout of the common cold. You don’t need to remind me, that reading that kind of drivel is as boring as having a cold yourself. Then came the terror and suprise of Aidan poking a plastic stick into his sister’s eye at 6am. Oh that screaming. She survived of course but I learnt two things, little people heal suprisingly quickly and public primary schools will not administer an eye cream at all, let alone at 3 hourly intervals.
The most recent attack on parental sanity arrived in the form of a phone call from the childcare centre announcing that Aidan had a raging rash and must be taken out of care immediately. There goes the rest of this week – how to balance the baby boy and the heavy metal workload.
Now in the scheme of things, I’ve been lucky. And in the greater scheme of things that unfolds around me, my family have been incredibly fortunate and I am almost loathe to complain about these slights.
But I have my cranky pants on this week.. so that makes everything more dreadful than it really should be. Yes, I’m sorry I have to move that meeting or arrive a bit later. I’m sorry for the inconvenience to everyone.. and yet why does my sorry sound like I’m saying sorry for having kids that need attending to? I’m not. I’m not sorry for my kids or how they intercept with everything I do now. Whether that is how they become the subject sometimes of what I write, or how sometimes they just want to crawl into our bed, (even when the clock clearly says 3.45am).
I think I’m going to write more about this, but it is time to turn off the moonlight in the kids room. Sorry.
Somebody was telling me today that the problem with those who are aloof,
is that they miss out on some really great stuff.
Sort of like those people who would never think of getting down in the dirt and sifting through it all to find those specks of gold.
Funny how they value the gold, but not those who live every day in the dirt and despair of the searching for it.
While the grandmasters in our lives,
plan the ultimate mining machine
we go on pawing the gravel at their feet in the hope of a glimmer.
If we find it, well, we will have done it the wrong way.
It wasn’t done their way.
It will have been the way of the fluke artist.
Perhaps they will build cities with comittees and
central stations of community thought.
Thinking thinking planning planning.
Casting a cold eye on those out alone
in a tent with not even a phone for self-assurance.
Just a shovel. Maybe a pick.
A handful of hand tools and a sense that we all should get a chance.
And when the grandmasters end, when their one little life is spent,
and their walls are adorned with the praise of people they don’t know, what then?
Will they be judged better than those from the tents who didn’t know the right way, or any way.
Those paupers without plans or projects or processes or people to tell them what to do, that did everything they wanted to anyway? Those poor souls whose intentions were not as grand,
but could stand the mud and mistakes to keep trying,
What happens to them?
I call it outskirt town. A town full of circus tricks and humble pies.
Where the gold that lies deep down in the dust,
is the massive life you can spend with others you trust.
It hasn’t been easy.. her confusion and struggles and the great sea of deep unknown things stretching out before her. I’ve anxiously helped, wondering how poorly I do. Wondering if my fears can be detected swirling beneath each new wave of words she must learn.
Yet here we are arriving at a new place, the one where reading words becomes the walking that is writing words. We are three spelling list weeks into this territory now. It is much thornier than rowing across the reading sea. I get caught on explaining why their and there sound the same but use different spelling. I get down when my own shortcuts through the land are not encouraged. She must take the long path first before we can lol and laff together.
And yesterday she wrote a story of things she loves without asking for help with spelling.
I love apples. I love bananas. I love cranberries. I love dad. I love eggs. I love fish. I love goats. Do you love me?
Of course I do! That’s so clever I said falling into the crevice that only a broken mind can see. While I smiled and praised how clever she was I wondered and feared and questioned.. Why didn’t she say she loved me?
Maybe being teacher and parent doesn’t work. Maybe this five year ok’d already resents me because I don’t know why ow sometimes makes an o sound and sometimes makes the sound of a hurt.
With daylight came a new view from the crevice into which I had fallen. I
I reached out to my wilful adventurer and asked “why” why didn’t you say in your story that you love me?
Because mum, I wasn’t up to M yet.
Then I read her story again for the first time.