Sorting Out

I just went through a box containing all the volumes of journal I have ever filled, from the age of eleven. It also contained all my other non-work notebooks, full of lists and ramblings and doodles and more random writing, fictional, true, and somewhere in between, poetry and songs and ditties and all the rest, going back fifteen years. I don’t actually have any wish to get rid of them. So I’m not going to. You haven’t seen my room, most of you, but it’s massive. There’s certainly room for a decade and a half of useless mental tripe, and it’s quite intriguing (the tripe that is, not the room). The intensity of thought and feeling bound up in those dry, inky pages almost scares me. And there’s so many things that apparently happened to me that I don’t really remember – or if I do, I don’t remember more than snapshot images, certainly not how those moments actually felt, and that’s really weird. Reading about a person I used to know and realising how much they used to mean to me – it is simply very odd, as if I’m reading the diaries of another person entirely. But that’s definitely my writing on those pages. I think I remember the last ten or so years pretty clearly, but it’s clear that I don’t really, not at all. What about you?



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4 responses to “Sorting Out

  1. I’ve been doing a similar thing for the last two days – trying to fit all my uni stuff and all my old stuff into my old room. I have looked at and evaluated just about every material thing I own, a very odd experience. Just looking at my old cub scout woggle, I could smell the big, dusty community building we used to meet in – very sudden memories of feelings, sights, everything from every item like it, that had such a specific time/place association. I don’t envy your big room though – I’m throwing out 8 boxes and 3 big bags of stuff, which I think is a fairly healthy thing for me.

    • Jenny

      Yes in some ways having a big room does make it harder. I am trying to be reasonably ruthless though. Keeping old journals and handwritten letters is alright though, I think. And one or two frankly inspired stories I wrote when I was about 8! Otherwise, though, lots to jettison.

    • Jenny

      And yes – some things are so very evocative. Smells especially (and from a scientific viewpoint I would like to understand why that is). It’s a long process, tedious, slightly emotive, and in some ways (a combination of the two I suspect) pretty enervating. And one last thing: what *is* a scout woggle? I went to the Scouts a few times but if I ever knew, I’ve forgotten!

  2. ukmikel

    if you’ve never woggled………!!!
    Actually its the thing that goes around the neckerchief that holds the two long ends together in front of you, sometimes leather or usually coloured plastic to denote your six, patrol or whatever.

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