A few mornings ago, I read a couple of pages from Susan Sontag’s journals and notebooks (As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh). I don’t have a copy; I searched it out online, spurred to look for it by reading someone else’s comments about the book.
Reading those few pages did not prompt me to add Sontag’s work to my list of “must-read” material. But reading what she wrote made me think, again, about my little black book and the fact that I’ve not produced physical evidence of what I think, how I feel, or what I believe. This blog is ephemeral, just as my other blogs are and have been. I deleted my first blog one day in a fit of displeasure with my writing; I erased the few jewels hidden there among the hideous stones. The same could happen to this blog; I could obliterate this electronic amalgamation of brain spillage in an instant. It occurred to me this morning, though, that I would be loathe to destroy a hand-written journal.
The thought process that took me back to my empty little black book took me to the non-existent little black books that I wish my parents and my grandparents and their grandparents would have written. If only those people, and their friends and their neighbors and the people they dealt with in their day-to-day lives had kept journals, I might have had the opportunity for a better sense of what their lives were really like.
What might the average day have been like for my mother, a school teacher, as she and my father prepared to send my brothers and sisters and me off to school each day? What was her day at school like? What did she and her friends talk about while they were playing bridge?
At any rate, for the record, I will spend time in the coming days and weeks and months recording my thoughts about things I cannot change, people I have no way of becoming, histories I cannot change, and loves I cannot control.