Diarists, journalers, memoirists,
What do you feel, learn, and change in your present mind when you re-read your thoughts from the past?
If you are like me, you:
- cringe a little
- cringe a lot
- feel wiser now
- feel you were wiser then
- see growth
- see stagnation
- find old knives dulled
- re-live old arguments with yourself
Mostly, I feel a sense that I am reading a different person’s mind, but with the familiarity of a character that has been artfully developed over many pages, many volumes. He is a person I know, but not quite me. Still, the connection to the person I am today remains elastic, and a sense of almost vicarious embarrassment or accomplishment rise up from deeper wells. It is strange, living vicariously through yourself in “delta T”.
I see patterns of thinking that I have endeavored to break marking points on a spectrum of effectiveness, from outright failure to the “I can’t imagine ever thinking like that again.” I also find patterns that have increased, both good and bad, and I subsequently try to work them into a bit of mined insight, educated belief.
I find bitterness that, at its source, was never eliminated, but has become inconsequential to my looking ahead. I find magnanimity where vitriol lived.
Lost achievements return.
These are photo albums, although the kodachrome images aren’t images of the real world as it was, but highly edited, blocked, and framed angles of what was thought to be important.
This archeology is an act uncovering more than images of the creator as he saw his immediate world and attempted to record it, as metaphysically interesting as it may be to use a journal to examine the journalist. The words reveal what was hoped for, expected, or avoided, and these vespers can actually be held up against today’s star chart.
The value in looking back is in looking ahead. Cliche. True. However, reading my previous words, more often, is simply evoking emotional memory. The value of these excursions isn’t always clear, but the trip is always a re-adventure.