Diary

via Daily Prompt: Record

Keeper of secrets but teller of lies. My diary is a safe place, where I can spell it all out, yell it all out, and come back around the calm side. But it’s not real. It’s only my perspective, with no pretense of balance, fairness or self-control. It’s joy, and gratitude, and wonder that I get to live this life, my life. It’s hope for the future, and making sense of everything that got me to where I am. But it’s still just me, writing for me.

Yet it’s also the record of my family and friends. No one else I know keeps a diary. I keep our memories, our events, our lives, imperfect a record as it may be. I’m sure that some day my kids will read them and wonder if they grew up in the family I’ve described. They’ll wonder why I wrote about some things and ignored others. They’ll wonder how I managed to see things the way I do, when they don’t remember it that way at all!

Oddly enough, I write for them as much as for me, because I know that some day they’ll inherit these volumes and volumes of my life. And they’ll be left to make sense of the records I’ve created. They’ll laugh at my quirks, and maybe they’ll feel puzzled, or sad, or melancholic, or maybe even happy that they have the memories, written, made real out of thoughts, the words on the page recording their lives for them.

A Few of My Favourite Things

Just because sometimes you feel like celebrating a day full of regular things that aren’t drama, no angst — teenage, parental, existential or otherwise, a day of sunshine, curled up with the cat (or dog), a day off work!

So here is my shout-out to regular great stuff.

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Chai tea. I love it! You can make the tea part as strong as you like, and you add all kinds of spices in all sorts of combinations. The flavours are intricate and bold, and you add hot milk and honey. Chai says, “I value you, and I care enough to make it just so.”

Sunshine! It can be underrated, or at least taken for granted. Even on a cold day, it can warm you through your window, and remind you that if it isn’t already, spring is really a thing.

Books. I love fiction, non-fiction, science and art. (Really, science and art are different points on the spectrum of beauty.) I can start one, become engrossed, and finish it by tomorrow. Or, I can choose to put it down and find something else. I can read kids’ books, biology or a study of Emily Carr. With pictures!

Fireplaces. YES! Because when it’s cold out, or even just slightly chilly, there’s something about a fireplace that has “comfort” all over it.

Coffee! Because, it’s, like, the elixir of life. Strong, dark, deep and rich.

Chocolate! Cake, bars, cookies, drinks. Chocolate says that life can be complex and sweet, bitter, solid, malleable and so worth it.

Animals. My dog doesn’t care if I don’t feel like it, and doesn’t judge me when little things make me anxious. My cat doesn’t mind if I don’t get home from work on time, and certainly doesn’t care if I can’t manage more than cereal for dinner. Plus, they give me an excuse to talk to myself, and get me out of the house every day for exercise.

Music. Classical, classic, pop, rock, rap, jazz, blues — whatever moves your soul, it’s the soundtrack, it’s the memory. Music helps us frame our lives and tells us that someone else out there gets it.

Snow. Yes, even snow. You can ski on it, run in it, build with it, move it out of the way. And it’s always there to remind you that it won’t last all year. Plus, it makes all the other things that much more meaningful.