>Another example of why most of my friends are books:

July 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

>On Keeping a Notebook by Joan Didion

“The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle…. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss….

“…I tell what some would call lies. ‘That’s simply not true,’ the members of my family frequently tell me when they come up against my memory of a shared event….

How it felt for me: that is getting closer to the truth about a notebook….

“We are brought up in the ethic that others, any others, are by definition more interesting than ourselves; taught to be diffident, just this side of effacing.

“But our notebooks give us away, for however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable ‘I.’

“It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one’s self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”

***

Just read the whole essay. For that matter, read all of Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Maybe you’ll also feel a little less alone, a little less malcontent.

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