Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thoughts on journal-writing

Perhaps I've been watching too many action movies, but I really want to be able to control my final messages to those I love. I've had fantasies about getting a safety deposit box in a bank somewhere, hiding that fact from my wife, and then leaving inside of it notes for her to read after my death. I smile to think of her finding the key to it in my drawer, or being given the key by my lawyer (ha! like I'll have my own lawyer), shrouded in mystery. She would go to the bank intensely curious – probably slightly worried that I was involved in some international money laundering scheme – and instead would find my final communications to her.

These wouldn't contain anything shocking – no final confessions, no unresolved missives – I simply want a way to control the last communication she receives from me. Since any life could end at any minute, I shudder to think that our final conversation might involve how to better arrange the house chores, or whether we can afford to buy some new item. And not because those topics would lead us into a fight (we don't fight), but because they are so boring. Who wants their final message, echoing from the grave, to consist of: "I'd be happy to do the dishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays"?

As I was contemplating in which bank I should store my letters, a thought occurred to me: instead of going through all this drama, why not just keep a journal? Surely whatever journal I keep, Camber will read it if I die. And there, inside those pages of daily record keeping, will lie my autobiography. There is my final chance to capture, day after day, my feelings about life, and about her.

I had never thought about journals in this way, but over the past few months I have done my best to keep my journal in that spirit. Every night, before I go to bed, I try to record in it the day's events, and my feelings about them. And those feelings inevitably turn to Camber, giving me an opportunity to make my journal what it ought to be: my never-ending final love letter to her.

1 comment:

  1. If I'm still alive when you die, I'll be your lawyer :)