July 27, 2009

I have had a couple of people ask me why I send out these reports / blog posts. This question arose a while back, when I sent out some posts that were not very entertaining. Frankly, they were boring as hell, just numbers, costs, locations and miles ridden.

I do not write these things for the reader (or maybe reader*S* now), but rather for myself. Yes, I might color up the posts a bit more to entertain the reader, but only where it pleases me. I use this on-line journal similar to the way some people write in journals that they never intend to read. In fact, I used to keep paper journals. I never read them. But the act of writing helped me think. It helped me color in the black and white images in my mind. It entertained me. I do not have to make these posts public, and in fact, I often write posts that I never make public. The ones that I make public are the ones that entertain me most. This might only be a fact based post of where I went and what I did. Or it might be a colorful story that many will like.

I started writing in journals a long time ago, after I met a traveler. She wanted to know where I had been and what I did etc. When I had trouble remembering details, she suggested keeping a journal. I thought it was crazy, since I was not about to look up in my journal when I was talking to someone. But I tried it, and it helped. It even helped me remember things before I wrote them in the journal. Some part of my mind was looking at things as if I were taking notes. I almost never went back to reference my journals, but just writing in them helped. I also found this to apply to taking photos. By always looking at things as to what would make a good photo, images become more etched in my mind, even if I never take the pic. This may partly explain why I often don't take pics of gatherings of family and friends. I have trouble looking at people as possible photo ops.

There is another, somewhat extreme example of this. I have heard this suggested a number of times through the years, but have never used it myself. It makes sense to me. This is writing a letter that you never intend to send. Used as a way of getting your thoughts out in the open, especially if something is really bothering you. For example, a woman has a boyfriend that is pissing her off. Rather than release her anger at him, she writes the letter and either destroys it right away or reads it the next day before destroying it. This gives the woman a chance to calm down and put her thoughts in order before confronting her boyfreind. Much more effective that way. Kinda like taking deep breaths before speaking. Some cultures write letters or requests to dead relatives. I don't know if they truly beleive that the dead will read the letters, but it helps them to write them. My favorite example of this was on a SciFi show called Jeremiah (hey, I'm a scifi guy, what did you expect). The show was about a post apocalyptic world, and the key figure in the show would write letters to his father, even though he thought his dad dead. He wrote the letters, then threw them in the fire. Not unlike keeping a journal you never intend to read. Although, I would think that putting your thoughts on the Mis-Information Net is not exactly throwing them in the fire, now is it?

Bob L