“Those fateful days, robust hours, frightful minutes, all lost to the shimmering gray wall of forever.”
Not sure where that quotation came from, so we’ll just say Martin Goldberg. At any rate, it touches upon one of the most direct arguments I can make for the maintenance of a daily – if not at least every other day—written journal. This remains one of the most crucial habits you can adopt in life, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the practice is relatively uncommon.
As human beings, our capacity for long-term memory is relatively limited. Most of us cannot remember in detail a single day twenty years ago, or even one two weeks passed. It could be something to do with the monotony of everyday life, yet the realization is no less disconcerting under that lens. It is probably not a stretch to say that 97 percent of your life is a frantic blur, and that is somehow acceptable. I try to even but I simply cannot.
Think of the memories, the specifics, whether good or bad, all dashed to pieces in short order, their legacies gone before a second breath. The magnitude is an overwhelming spell of terror. What’s more, those absent slices of time make up your life.
On this very hill we must consider the value of a journal. By jotting down specific notes of what went on and who was involved, the individual crafts an enduring story which can outsmart the mind and leave imprints to be rediscovered in later days. There is no more – or certainly less—of the scrambling wonder, the attempt to recall a name or face, especially as you gaze down the churning tide of advanced age. Instead of being a stumbled and haggard crone reaching for the vanished past, you can feel the touch of scrolls, the scent of faded ink, the love of days gone by but never perished. You have the ability to return, and to revisit.
Now of course at some point you may pass on into that place beyond the stars, where few souls have gone and reported back. Yet with a journal you live on. The heart of the child, young or grown to fill difficult shoes, will look at and enter the mind of his father, feel the echoes of the time, the memory he was too small to experience. Daughters will find the wisdom of their mother, what things she loved, the joy that spoke, rich tears all cried. The legacy will be one living, from time towards a horizon eternal.
All fault of a pen touched gently to the paper.
4 thoughts on “The Importance of Keeping a Journal”
Yes indeed Martin, you put forward a compelling argument. I have been trying on and off for sometime, and I am sure though many people say no, they most probably have some pages scribbled away, which when they wrote, they thought, were the start of a long time habit. I myself have done so many a times and after I read this, I will once again give it a try. Your words in this one are really profound.
I encourage you to go for it. After a few weeks it becomes a definite routine.
Wise words Martin, I’ve personally kept a journal for quite some time now, updating somewhat regularly, but more recently I’ve been looking into starting a blog to catalog my thoughts and experiences in my short time in the professional world/personal life.
Keep it up EI!
LikeLiked by 2 people