Soundtrack: Deep Forest, Sweet Lullaby and Nightbird by Deep Forest

Link: The Clockwork Storybook
Wow. This is a really cool idea and great storytelling. I've only skimmed the surface of everything that's in there, but I'm already drooling. This is exactly the kind of thing I'd love to do -- heck I used to do this all the time with my best friend as a teen, we just didn't have the web *grin*.



As I sat on the stairs at the base of the walk, waiting for the bus this morning, the two things I was most keenly aware of, were the smell of early summer: heat radiating off the tar in the road, hot freshly cut grass and the heady scent of flowers in bloom and a rushing desire to GO somewhere.

Once upon a time, I had a half-formed dream of traveling around the world -- just cutting loose and going. I had a friend from Smith, during the year I studied in Geneva, who spent a large amount of her traveling time, hitch-hiking around the Czech Republic. She had far less money than I did, but she had twice the attitude and twice the gung-ho power. She went all over the place, while I sat and dreamed up in my room.

My feet are itching to hit the road. Every day I come home from work and feel crowded by the apartment, the bills to pay, the dishes to wash, the laundry to do, my responsibilities and the mistakes that have gotten me stuck here.

Out there somewhere, is a whole world, just waiting to be explored, felt, tasted, smelt, seen and heard. But I can only reach it dimly through the images and words on the glossy pages of National Geographic magazine.

I wonder sometimes, what happened to the girl who wanted to walk all over the world. I remember reading books like Dove and Walking Across America as a teen, and feeling inspired to do something similar, get out there, me versus the elements and see what I could find.

I had a plan to join the Peace Corps at one point. I didn't really care where I got sent, as long as it wasn't a war zone. But I wanted to go, I wanted to do something concretely good. I wanted to go and do and learn and be.

And so I am restless. I sit here in my air conditioned office, typing up lines of code, constructing a very nice interface for what's turning into a really slick intranet web application. And I'm proud of my work.

But I can't help looking out the window and wondering what lies beyond the vista of summer-tossed trees and high-rise business buildings.

In two weeks, I will be going. last to Ireland, with my brothers for 5 days of cutting loose courtesy of my father (thanks dad). A belated graduation gift for myself and Tom, and a graduation gift for Ted, who picks up his high school diploma on June 15th. I wonder if it will be enough to quiet the rover in me ...

* * *


Over the weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time reading some of my old paper-diaries. I've kept a journal off and on since I was eight years old. In the pages of that first diary, are chronicled the days of a child, slowly emerging into adolescence. I didn't write every day. I still don't for that matter, and it's interesting to see what I did and didn't write down.

I took my diary-writing very seriously at first. I was hyper-aware of the fact that someone might be reading it "some day" and hence addressed every entry as if it were a lesson of some kind. That awareness continued for a while, then the voice turns more towards myself around age twelve -- injunctions to behave better, spend more time with my family, do my homework more conscientiously, peppered with admonishments about being silly and encouragement when something went well.

By age thirteen, the text has become a comical mixture of typically adolescent remarks like "I think XYZ is cute" and "I'm fat! I need to go on a diet!" and a more serious preoccupation with the world outside of my own life. Deep-seated concerns about war and poverty are juxtaposed with explorations of religion and faith, comments about the mental and emotional states of my friends contrast with questioning of why and how the planet works.

All the while, another interesting transformation can be observed: my handwriting changes gradually from a childish scrawl, to overblown attempts at a romantic, spidery script, to finally settle into the old-fashioned slanted cursive that so closely resembles my mother's.

The later entries from my high school years are almost exclusively devoted to mushy raving about my boyfriend. Other things intrude, but I was completely caught up in the throes of my first long-term relationship and it shows.

I toyed around with the idea, of putting up these older entries somewhere, perhaps not all of them, but a sample selection that would show where I have been, in relation to where I am.

But a lot of what I wrote is so horrendously bad, so embarrassing that I don't know if I could ever bring myself to do it. To boot, there is information in there that is highly sensitive and has the potential to do damage to various relationships. So all in all, it's probably best to leave it confidential. I'd forgotten how lacerating and no-holds barred my words could be.

What is both reassuring and disturbing about reading my past, is how normal I was. The patterns of my behavior in adolescence are typical of the age, if not overly rebellious. I was figuring out who I was and a lot of who I am today can be traced to threads in those journals. Though I'd like to think, that the growing up process has dealt with some of the more ... egregious misconceptions that I harbored.

The exercise has served its purpose, though. The way that I write has changed drastically over the years. From the more "laundry list-esque" entries of my childhood, to the hyper-self-aware entries of my adolescence, to the more balanced explorations of early adulthood. I write with less self-awareness now -- often putting the pen to the page in an almost clinical fashion when I write about myself, more often taking a hazy, almost third-person position as if I were sitting right behind my own shoulder.

In the past two years, a new difference has arisen. That between this writing, the online journal and what I still write privately in a bound book, whenever I feel the need.

I am no less open in one or the other, but the range of topics that I cover on paper is far wider than what I cover here.

A lot of online journalers are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to self-censor. It's a decision that I made fairly early on: I don't talk about my relationship with sabs here. I don't talk about my friends much -- except in an oblique sense. I don't go into detail about my relationships with my family members anymore either. All three of these areas, just have way too much potential for lasting damage. It all has to do with timing -- in the long run, most of what I write would wind up as a conversation with any of these people. The problem is if they read it before I'm ready, or they are ready to hear it.

So this is not a 100% accurate reflection of what's going on in my mind. It covers a lot of it, but not all of it. Often, on days when there is no update, it's highly likely that I am preoccupied with something I don't feel comfortable writing about here. Chances are, I'm curled up somewhere with a notebook and my fountain pen, slowly carving out the letters on the page and quietly thinking about to remedy whatever problem it is I'm facing.

5.28.99 | narrative | mail | 6.6.99

little owl