So. It’s only taken me 26 years to write this. To quote the White Rabbit, I’m certainly late for a very important date.
I’ll blame Molly, it’s easier.
My dear friend, Molly, (who will be frequently quoted…) recently texted and asked if I would like to attend a Writer’s Workshop at our local library next weekend. I did a big internal sigh and said yes. And knowing what very was good for me, she signed me up and sent me the workshop information, which had one basic idea:
Just Write Something.
So here I am. I feel a little smug, because I am, very unusually, slightly ahead-of-the-game, and I can turn up on Saturday and answer truthfully, when the scary author asks the Big Question, with the answer:
On that note, I’m certainly not going to be the most original thinker at this workshop. People have been journaling and pre-blogging since the beginning of written Time. My daughter, Cerys, and I were discussing this recently, after her dad had said that John Wesley’s Journals, were, after all, just old-fashioned blogs. The time it took to get it “uploaded” might have been a touch longer, but really, no different as far the idea of keeping times and memories in their places goes. So Cerys and I started discussing all the famous “pre-bloggers” of the world: Lewis and Clark, Ann Frank and later in her life, Laura Ingalls, although she sort of blogged in one long after-the-fact effort, rather than as a journal, kept on a regular basis.
So why now, why start journaling now?
Well, for a start, I am simply horrible at filling up those glorious, beautiful, fragrant journals you can buy on the shelves of certain bookstores. Most of the ones I have come to a screeching blank halt after a page. It’s apparently genetic. Our son, at the start of our year living in Australia in 2015, began his beautiful journal very diligently on the first afternoon we arrived, his first fresh, clean blank page stating:
We all think he meant to say Sydney Opera House, but we were all quite jet-lagged and none of us can remember enough to actually prove it. But even without jet-lag, I have too many similarly unended entries in journals. And I’m getting terribly old, half a hundred years next year (it sounds more impressive to say it that way) and I thought maybe someday I should write something down. At least it will be down, and this way the great- grandchildren won’t have to feel guilty about deciding what to do with Granny’s journals. They can just be left to float around cyber-space. We all found Laura Ingalls’ constant and necessary grinding of wheat in the coffee maker fascinating in The Long Winter, so perhaps it won’t always have to be exciting either!
This summer it was 26 years since I moved to the USA when Scott and I married in England in 1993. I had traveled quite a bit as a kid, and I knew what that was like, to live elsewhere with people in a completely different culture I hadn’t grown up in. I felt fairly invincible.
I was probably naïve. But at 23 you are allowed to be. I didn’t realize at the time that I was about to step through the Rabbit Hole, like Alice, and that it might take a while to get oriented to my wonderful new world. I still am figuring it out, some days. But I suppose we all are. Since then I’ve learned that my home will always be wherever my Scott and my children are, and that humans can make a home anywhere their heart is.
But that doesn’t make my New World any less different, or any less exciting for that matter. Just ask me about making tea…..or how to handle queues.
So maybe, this way, in words, and pictures, and discussion, I can hopefully entertain you with the journals I should have written. Because, as Alice says:
And that, my friends, is where this story will begin…..