These are the journals that I keep in the attic in a box.

What to do with them?

They contain most of my personal writing since I was fifteen. What purpose do they serve? Once, I stood in the bookstore and read some of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s journal entries. Now, those journals had a purpose. I’m under no illusion that my scrawled rantings compare to those done by that bright mind.

I didn’t write them for anyone. I think I’d be mortified if anyone actually found them.

They aren’t sophisticated.

They are full of doubt. They trace my own personal path in words mostly honest. As honest as I could be with myself at any given time.

The old ones reveal a very naive boy.

I can’t say what the newer ones reveal.

Over time, the journals have gotten smaller. I like the compactness of the Moleskin or Moleskin-like journal.

I’ve thought about hiding them in the walls of my house. When we were renovating, I did slip some things into walls and other secretive places, but I didn’t put the journals anywhere. They could be my own private writing time capsule. Maybe someone would fine them when they decided to renovate the house long after I’m dead. An artifact of yellowing paper that they could get rid of how they see fit.

But that’s only one idea. What I’d really like to do is burn them. I’ve had the fantasy of burning my journals since I started writing them. I think it’s always been in the back of my head. Maybe I just want to have a whole heap of journals to burn. I’d have to get the timing just right. Don’t want to wait too long and miss out. Don’t want to burn them too soon and then get nostalgic and wish I hadn’t done such a thing.

What would it feel like to excise these words from the world?

Who would I be without them all? Throughout history, the world is mostly filled with untold stories. I’d become just another unrecorded life. The thought thrills and terrifies me. Would I be freeing myself from those words?

Of course, if I’m burning the pages, I’d have already deleted or destroyed the digital words. That would have to come first. Erase it all. Awake as a blank slate.

If you ever drive by my house and see me dropping papers into a fire, know that I’m erasing the best record of who I am.

Someday. Not today, but someday.

One thought on “wORds

  1. That’s…that’s kind of lovely. The whole thought. Keeping those journals. The notion of burning them, of exorcising the words from this world, of the record of you. Just…you. Who you were. All in those words, in those journals you’ve kept for so long. That’s amazing. But before you burn them, that is, if you do, I’d say to read through it all once more. One session. Just to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve done in all this time. And maybe you’ll decide that you’d like to keep them, like you said, for someone else to find and decide what to do with then. Ah, best of luck with getting that timing just right, with deciding what, exactly, you’d like to do with them.

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