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Journal

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I journal now.

I have attempted this for going on decades now.  In various forms, under different descriptions, and for uncountable reasons why, I have tried to spend a little time with a notebook and a pen, and tell the invisible just how I was feeling.

And failed.

Every time.

Until now.

I don’t succeed every day.  Just like, with life, I don’t succeed every day.  But now, I try.  I am doing this on the advice of a friend.  Not a close friend, because the advice of close friends, for me, has a way of becoming a message that falls on deaf ears.  Deaf ears that don’t read lips all that well, so the well-meaning of others, just as often, falls.  So, where were we?  Oh yeah, forms, descriptions, and reasons. 

Forms: affirmations, observations, gratitude, grief, self-talk, listening, healing, prayer… just to name a few more than a few.     

Descriptions: meditative, stream of consciousness, automatic writing, biographical, dear fucking diary, poetry and prose.  If I left something out, I’m sorry.  If it meant more, I’m sure I’d still remember it.

Reasons: to get in touch with my feelings, to separate myself from my feelings, to find my true path, to stay off the wrong path, to find myself, to lose myself, to know myself, to find God, to know God, to have God know me.

Yeah, I used to journal to God.  But a long time ago I stopped wanting God to hear what I had to say.  So I stopped journaling to God.

I journal now.

When I used to journal, the many MANY times I tried to journal, I couldn’t write freely, always editing the thoughts in my mind before the words scratched themselves into the page.  I’ve always been a stickler for the way words feel as they lay on your tongue, as you silently read them to yourself, like a whisper with no breath to carry the sound.

C’mon, admit it with me, we ALL do that.  It’s the real reason why people move their lips when they read.  Some people just hide it better, or care much more, than others.  You don’t want to be thought of as simple minded, so you keep your lips pressed together when you read, but your tongue still moves between your teeth and the roof of your mouth, because we ALL love how words FEEL in our mouths.

Anyway, in those days, the words had to read perfect to feel perfect.  So I quit, because the prose ended up being prosaic, and prosaic is just another way of saying “droning self-importance”, and the whole point of journaling was to get past self-importance and discover something more than self, right?

But, bright side, I did become a bloody awful poet, so there’s that.

I journal now.

I don’t know what I will discover, this time.  Will it end up being just another one-man circle jerk of overly-edited thoughts?  So far, no.  I have an actual editor for that now.  One thing I know, so far, is that, where the words used to come out like sawdust, now they come out like blood.  No cuts required.  I even doodle now.  Also in blood.

The world is a different place than it was the last time I tried this, just as my place in it is different.  Recently, my walls came down with a crash, and instead of trying to rebuild walls, I think it’s better if I just write what I find in the rubble and move on.

And no, you will never read my journal.  No one will.  Except maybe God, and then, mostly over my shoulder.

Besides, some of it might be about you.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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The Notebook

NOTEBOOK words to live by

 

(From the early days of madness.  A time known on the interwebz as “It’s Always Friday”.  This was my one-hundredth post in that place, shared with readers as “Friday Turns 100”.  I guess some things really DON’T change)

I keep a notebook.

No, not a Mac Book, a notebook. The kind you write in. The paper kind. And a pen. I’ve also been told I’m an old soul… fossil old.

Let me explain… no, there is too much… let me sum up.

Okay, whenever I get a random thought in my head… something that, for the merest moment of time, I like the sound of as it floats between my ears, I write it down. In the same notebook I use for work. Sideways, in the left-hand margin… so I won’t forget where I put it. Sometimes, these random thoughts end up in a story. Most times, they end up forgotten… tossed in a drawer, or worse yet (the horror…) under the bed (another column for another time). And sometimes, like bullets from a 9 mil in a drive-by, they get used all at once. And if you think you know me… and you will think you do, the longer you read me… then you know that these are (some) of my words to live by.

“I have no desire to be friends with my past.”

While, for many, the past can be looked back on fondly… first bike, first kiss, first car… for me, my past is looked back on for some other firsts… first stolen bike, first punch in the face, first death of a loved one. And while I would not trade any of the lessons learned from it, my past and I are not now, nor will we ever be, on good terms with each other. Every now and then, we pass each other on the street… and nod. And that’s enough. Because with every passing nod, another page in the notebook is filled.

“Talent doesn’t pay the bills, working does.”

Obviously not an original thought, but since when did a teacher like the past ever claim to be 100 percent original all the time? Still, this one is for the times (many) when the thought of sitting on my bony ass waiting for something better to come along became more than just a thought… and it took some kind of tragedy to shake me enough to start something, or stop something, that shoved a wrench into the gears of my creative machine. Hell, I hate working three jobs. But it beats starving. Yeah, and I’ll sleep when I’m published.

“Sometimes drunks tell the best version of the truth.”

So, after you finish reading this, have a few cold ones, read it again, and leave a comment… preferably on my blog, to reduce the chance of having me ask the publishers to take it down. When you do comment, please let me know exactly how many shots, pops, or rips you’ve had, so that I can rate your truthfulness by the volume of your consumption.

And remember, there are no wrong answers.

“Intimacy isn’t given… it’s earned.”

And people wonder why I don’t make many friends.

In a previous article, I covered the three kinds of “friendlies” every writer ought to know. This is the other side… the dark side… of that. For lack of a better term, they are, “the un-friendlies”. Part Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, part Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy, “un-friendlies” are those Twitter followers or Facebook friends you wish you’d never clicked “okay” for. Sure you could block them, or just try to ignore them, but sooner or later they will always come back… with a bunny. As I enter into this phase of my writing life, I will try to remember to be polite to everyone, and always, always keep my head on a swivel… so it doesn’t end up somewhere else.

And finally…

“Handshakes are for people who can’t afford lawyers.”

This should be self-explanatory. It’s the California version of, “get it in writing”. California has always lead the way in defining how to put a price tag on friendship (community property, “palimony”), and on the number of lawyers per capita in the United States. I have one friend who is an attorney, and while I did not run number 5 by him before I submitted this column to the editor (something to do with “billable hours”… I really didn’t understand it all), I do know that he would have to agree with me on this one. Off the record.

Bonus thought…

I will conclude this first official effort by explaining that this article is my 100th published article for Broowaha.com. In saying that, I want everyone who just made the effort to follow this one all the way to its conclusion to know that it is my wish that we all, as writers… as readers… get what we wish for ourselves in this creative venture comes true even wilder and better than we ever could have imagined. But be careful what you wish for, because…

“If wishes were Unicorns, they’d shit rainbows.”

Copyright © 2011, 2015 Bill Friday

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