2017-08-16 / Editorials

Don Lively


So, yea, I journal.

Don't you?

I didn't always keep a chronicle of my boring little life. It's a fairly recent undertaking. I was at least partially prompted to begin journaling after reading the diary that my Grandma Julia kept for five years in the early 50s. I had not been aware of her writings until my aunt and one of her daughters published Grandma's words in book form and I got my very own copy.

I've told you about the diary before. It's a true treasure that documents, among other things, the births of several of the cousins of my generation, my arrival on Earth included. I'm able to pick up the book and read about what Grandma and many other relatives that she wrote about were doing exactly 67 or 68, etc, years ago "on this date".

To me, one of the most interesting things about her journals was what wasn't in them. Not once on February 14th did she mention Valentine's Day and on no March 17th was a word written about St. Patrick's Day. Also, only one mention of Halloween.

On the other hand she loved Easter, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas, never failing to write about those holidays.

It's all fascinating to me.

And, it made me decide that I wanted to do the same thing.

So, I do.

Now I have hopes that someday, many years from now, somebody will enjoy my daily musings as much as I've enjoyed Grandma's.

I have other hopes that run through my mind every late night when the last thing I do before I lay me down to sleep is write my daily one page. Only one page. I have a theory that most days are unexceptional and should not require more than one page. I have to admit though that I've had a few days that required two and on the rare occasion as many as three.

But, I digress.

Herewith for your perusal are my hopes for my journals far in the future.

First and foremost I hope that whoever discovers my journals will not immediately glance at them and think that they are written in a foreign language and instantly trash them. I write in cursive. Let me rephrase, I write poorly and crudely in cursive. I can barely read it myself at times after a long day or a longer evening. Still, it's legible to anyone who has learned to read and write cursive, or, as we used to call it, handwriting. Therein lies the problem. As I understand it schools no longer teach cursive. But, thankfully, there are dozens of fonts in the word processing universe that are, indeed, cursive so the genre should still be somewhat familiar at least.

So there is hope.

I hope that all of the people who I wrote negatively about, the ones I drug through the mud, the ones I spoke the cold hard truth about, don't read my journals until after I'm dead. That way I won't have to offer any insincere apologies. It won't bother me a whit after I'm in Paradise for some folks to read how I gossiped to myself about them. Who knows, it might cause them to ponder on their less than stellar behavior.

Nah, probably not.

I hope that any future readers of my journals will still understand and appreciate my style of Southern humor that I admit can be cynical, dry and sarcastic at times. Yes, I use the same methods in my journals as I do here in this weekly space.

I hope that somehow, in some small way, my journals will benefit some curious person in the future. I hope they will find my thoughts to be insightful and useful to them.

Kind of like Grandma's journals have delighted me and continue to every time I pick up the book.

Finally, and this hope is about you, not me, I hope that many folks are taking a few minutes to record the doings of their daily living. Trust me, somebody is going to write the everyday history of today and tomorrow and they might not get it right.

It's up to folks like you and me to send postcards and letters from the past to our descendents in the future.

I'm doing my part.

Are you?

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin' At The Dixie Moon, and, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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