I enjoy words. It’s becoming rarer that I deign to make a string of them to encapsulate my thoughts in such a way as to make them tender for public consumption, or even for the perusal of friends and family. This is largely because I recently reacquired the latent habit of writing regularly in a private journal. Never designed to be posted or shared, my journal is pen and ink only – easier to burn, as someone recently suggested.
Keeping a journal is my private way of clearing the mental cobwebs which trap degenerate thoughts. Endlessly they rattle my skull and never perish. Repeatedly they remind me of their existence, which serves only to torture me by pinning my emotions squarely in the past. Constrained by what was, I fail to appreciate what is or what could be. With the mighty Pen I trace gossamer threads, draw painful thoughts and memories into the ink well, and shape words on paper. It’s such a relief mining the ore of raw emotion out of my heart. It’s refreshing refining the chaos into order allowing me to delineate where I’ve been, where I am, where I ought to be, and where I want to go. It’s vindictive validation smashing my depression between the pages of a tattered Mead Composition Notebook that turns five years old this month.
It’s the literary equivalent of screaming into my pillow.
And when words aren’t enough, I’ve learned to exhaust myself physically. Twice a week I run for half an hour. Twice a week I punch a concrete wall for half an hour (the flesh on my knuckles is proof I should maybe use different gloves for this). Twice a week I intermittently jump rope, pushup, and sit-up for half an hour. For the last month, I’ve cycled through these routines six days a week. I have a different playlist for each. I measure progress neither with pounds nor inches, but through running farther, hitting harder, jumping faster, and lifting more than I did the previous week.
Also I spent the weekend sanding down and re-staining my coffee table. ‘s nice. And on Sunday I took myself to the movies. Then I came home and cooked myself cheeseburgers. Mmm.
And now the mental effort of remaining alert for 20 sleepless hours is overtaking me. Sleep is rolling in behind my eyes like a storm on the horizon, a baptismal flood to wash clean my cluttered cranium and tickle me with imagery that will inspire a triumph of tomorrow’s greatness over yesterday’s trepidation.