Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Books

My life is a book.

Not an original analogy. But some people compare their lives to a box of chocolate, a la Forrest Gump, or to a train wreck a la Anna Nicole Smith. I think my life is a book.

Well, more like books. Maybe not leather-bound gilded with gold leaf, but a complete set of 26 volumes; A-Z, probably covered in moss-green corduroy with some of buttons missing. My books have all been written in, though none of them are finished.

Journaling is in my blood. My paternal grandfather was a great diarist and it was a revelation to me reading him 25 years after he passed. Every day, he'd write down what the weather was, what he ate for breakfast, what his beloved "Flossie" had made for supper, where he drove, who he saw. A great smoker eventually taken by emphysema, he was terrified of cancer. He had been my father's hero, and in talking to my Dad's surviving brothers I was able to read between some of the lines. I realized that what wasn't written on paper was as important as what was documented.

The point of journaling or blogging is, to a large extent, an effort to share some of the pages in our books with others. The process of taking the thoughts and words inside us, putting them to paper and looking at them existing independently can be healing. Cathartic for me; perhaps a little disturbing to others, but lets face it, it's my book and it is all about me.

Right now, I'm working on Volume O; specifically, the Osh*t chapters. Good times, when you can read these through the clarifying lens of time. Most recently, I've offered up the the Osh*t: I'm 40 sections – Osh*t: I Need Bifocals! Osh*t: I Fell in the Shower! There are also the Osh*t: I Got Rear-Ended! and Osh*t: My Husband Left Me! Ah, and then there's the anxiety-ridden; Osh*t: I'm Pregnant Again! and the face-draining; Osh*t: I Just Accidentally Overheard My Son's Girlfriend Say "I Got My Period"! chapter.

Like I said, good times, when you can read them a few years later. And I do re-read those chapters. In fact, many pages are dog-eared for quick reference enabling me to look at the forest for the trees so that I can remember the people, the pain, the love, the lessons.

There are books in there that are available to only a privileged few. There are books in there that will never be available to anyone ever. Some pages are dusty with big childish writing; and some are tear-stained with a rigid little scrawl penned with a tight fist. On many occasions, I wrote with permanent marker and there were some pages I wrote in pencil fully meaning to go back and rewrite in pen but it has faded so much now that I can't capture the words any longer. That loss bothers me the most.

My words. My pages. My books. My life.


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