85. Footnotes of History

Tuesday September 1 2020

You know, I write this journal all the time.

In my head.

Every time an interesting factoid or experience crosses my path, I make not only a mental note, but pretty much put together a couple of ethereal paragraphs.  

There are two lies I tell myself.

  1. That’s a huge muffin. I couldn’t possibly eat the whole thing.
  2. I don’t have to write that down because I’ll remember it.

So, I make notes when I can. A sticky note here, back of an envelope there, and on the days when I really have my shit together, future profundity gets added to the notebook I carry around with me.

I just need the time to write it. And of course, research things as needed.

My random notes from the past few days include:

  • Resting Bitch Face
  • Old man sneeze at self-checkout
  • Cancel culture
  • Are museums non-essential
  • Polio in Nigeria
  • Mafia politics in Ohio
  • Hurricane Laura
  • Earthquake in India
  • My dog’s surgery
  • COVID cases at UD

I have thoughts, heck, even half-formed opinions, on these important topics. I also have to mentally transition between two part-time jobs that both involve books in very different ways, along with raising a puppy for a service dog organization, dealing with generalized anxiety issues, and the usual flotsam that goes with throwing off the blanket every morning.

Life is good, generally. But I’m tottering along a tight rope above a smoldering chasm of burnout.

My consumable resources are money, energy, and time. How fortunate am I that writing this prose for future generations is at no real expense, as far as spending a buck is involved. But the two latter consumables are measured out in miserly doses.

Each evening after dinner- of which I had planned, shopped, and prepared – I do actually have some time before I nod off on the sofa, laptop upon its namesake playing clips from Graham Norton’s talk show.

And sure, I might get a journal entry completed, but it’s at risk of being something like my earlier post Can’t Even.

I saw a conversation in one of the genealogy Facebook pages I follow about how valuable journals and diaries are from times past. Among the world events driving daily life, there are also the stories of how the author navigated through their life journey. You know, the stuff that will never make it to the history books, yet provides color to the monochrome images of our ancestors.

My husband and I inherited family artifacts from his side and included was a journal that his grandmother kept in the 1970’s, that last spiral-bound notebook before she passed. She was the keeper of family photographs and correspondence, a historian of the family Sword. I desperately wish I could have her library of journals, which I imagine were rich with family lore, but these are all lost forever.  

Family historian, Clara Boga Sword, as a young woman in 1917 (far left). She’s pictured with her first son, George, her father, Anthony Boga, and paternal grandmother, Marie Clarice Emonin Boga.

For those of us who journal, we can’t expect those closest to us to understand the impact of our words as we write them today. They’re living a parallel life, of course. But somewhere down the line, there will be a descendent who is curious about what went down in the aught years, the teens and twenties of the early 21st century.

I believe we all, each of us, have a life story that needs shared. Keep those journals squirreled away for those who come after us. Or write your memoir and have it published as a book.

You could even keep an online blog.

Just write.

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