Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Should Be Making Muffins

Our CSA kick off party has been rescheduled twice due to unusual amounts of spring thunderstorms. Tonight is the night, and as it's a pot luck I should be making blueberry banana muffins to bring along. But I grated my pointer finger last night while zesting some lemons and shredding garlic cloves, and anything to do with dishes/baking/mixing is pretty much annoying.

You know what else is annoying? When a garbage truck nearly runs me over while I'm biking to the gym.

Another thing that is annoying? When I start a new blog with high hopes of working on a new project, and then the wind in my sails just sputters out to a pitiful stream of box fan in the window breeze. And when there is a box fan in the window, well, I'd rather be napping on my down comforter than typing up thoughtful posts.

On the life front, school is all wrapped up and ready to go and our summer travel plans are nailed down - one trip down, two to go. Oh, right! I still need to post about that one trip down... oops. I did 70 miles on my bike last week, and I'm excited about C25K again. The library continues to bless me with heaps of new and interesting books, most recently a crazy one called "The Information" that's blowing my mind (non-fiction).

Honestly the scanning in my diaries project is going a bit slow because I'm reading through them to figure out what I care to keep and what is just toe curling embarrassing. Inevitably there are chapters of stomach wrenching sadness, or sheets of anger, or a forgotten story somewhere between 15 and 18 that gives me a jolt. I mean, I suppose that's why we keep diaries- to remember. I haven't come across it yet, but I distinctly recall writing an entry sometime around the 6th grade, right after I had read "Anne Frank". I was a bit paranoid that I was going to die and my family, desperate to connect with me, would begin to peruse my diaries. Alternatively, I imagined that they would somehow be found decades after my death, and be published as some sort of "normal life of a pre-teen in the early 90's" compilation. Really. It's ok, you can laugh at my self centered pre-teen fears. I am. What's incredibly strange to me, as the author of these random little books, is that I feel as though *I* am snooping into that other Cortney's life. Sometimes when I'm thumbing through what was my beloved Lisa Frank diary (4th-5th grade), I get a tingling of guilt on the back of my neck. I feel so very different from the child who wrote those words that it's as though I'm intruding on her- my- privacy. Isn't that strange? Even as I sit here at the dining room table, I can glance over the scanner and see a variety of different books, all heavy laden with my own thoughts, from as recently as 2008 to as far away as 1991. They have... a presence. They're literally holding my life in them. Some of the pages were ripped out and shredded. Others were edited out. Oh, before you go protesting my revision of history, please understand- these are not things I want others to ever read about me. These are personal, often painful, and brutally honest things that were tormenting my mind, that I had to get. out. of. my. head. They needed to be hunted down, and trapped, and then drawn out and pinned to the paper. But they don't really, not at all, need to be read again. Not by me, and certainly not by anyone else. I remember one of my Dad's friends saying she had two diaries. One was her record keeping diary. Something her children could have when she died, to look back on, and read about her life and the things she did and the memories she saved. The other? That one was to be burned upon her death. No one was to read it. I knew, as soon as she said it, that I had a lot of "burn upon my death" entries. I was only 12, but I knew intrinsically that there are some thoughts that must get out, but they also must be kept to oneself. And so my diaries and I worked our way through my life. I know writing in them has kept me sane, has calmed me down, and has helped me work through struggles and fears, anger and depression. In the end, some of the sharper edges, and finer points, and murky darkness around that process can be torn out, shredded, edited. I can keep enough to still tell the story, without feeling so vulnerable. In the end, I don't need a piece of paper with my crooked writing on it to remind me of those thoughts- if they were sacred and scary enough to be torn from a diary, trust me, the words are etched pretty deeply inside of me.

I hope to have the diary project wrapped up and put to rest by the end of June. I think I'll make it, since I've been spending all of May reading into my past, scanning these pages like retroactive tea leaves. We're halfway through June, so I should be able to finish the processing stage and head on to the drudgery of the whizz hum grumble of the old scanner.

But for now I need to make those muffins.

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