I’ve always been drawn to mosaics, jigsaws and patchwork. Anything that aims to make a whole out of small somethings. I also regularly need to revisit the question of why I write. It feels reckless to do it without understanding my motivation. I’m not the type of person who would climb a mountain simply because it’s there. And the answer I’ve often come to is that I write to keep record. Noting the daily in an effort to distinguish the uniqueness of each. I think that’s a major reason why haiku suits me. Each is a little patch, and seen together they suggest some kind of record of experience. A patchwork of my days. Of course I like my flights of fancy too, my wild imaginings. Perhaps these are my play, where I fling the patched cape around my shoulders and pretend to be a kaleidoscopic witch for the day.
I’ve dabbled with reading diaries before, but never fully embraced them. Plath’s big green volume has been bowing my bookshelf for years. But recently I’ve dipped my toe into May Sarton’s coastal account shared in The House by the Sea. And I’m astounded at how much I’m finding there, how much relevance to my todays considering Sarton’s todays were almost forty years ago. I admire a diary keeper - their bravery as they allow me to hear their confession. The way they aren’t ashamed to be so indulgent as to write about themselves day after day. Perhaps we all hope to create something that will outlive and outlast us. Some people bear children to meet this need, while some of us prefer to make something we can burn if we change our minds.
Today I shall start to read the first entry in the fictional diary of Ruth which runs through Thaw, the third novel from Fiona Robyn. I’m interested to see how Ruth uses her diary, and if you are too you can read along for the next three months at Thaw.