I finally decided to transcribe my notebooks – at least where safe to do so – starting with 1980, where I began a systematic accounting of my world. With the exception of 1979, which I documented meticulously in loose leaf notebooks (the pages of which have since been scattered), journals prior to 1980 were sporadic, and much of what I recollect from my early life was reflected in journals from 1980 and later when I recorded everything that transpired in my life from at the time and later (something I still do).
Unfortunately, if tend write all the time on everything from bar napkins to paper towels, but friends soon learned that the perfect gift for any occasion was a hard cover blank paged book.
My regular journal work started in 1979 for Mrs. Mollenkott’s feminist class, several hundred pages that also extended into early 1980.
I also tend to have several journals going on at the same time, as I did in 1980 (see photos), usually designed to reflect different subjects, but unfortunately, subjects tended to spill over into each other, and sometimes a journal I wanted to have as a starter for fiction stories will have a number of non-fiction entries.
These journals are often written to myself as some future time, designed to document time and place, with details of where I was and what I was doing and most importantly, how I felt. So in transcribing them, I have to go through each journal one page at a time to see which is a snap shot of that moment, and these are what I’ve been posting on my blog lately – along with some contemporary entries (although I still keep several handwritten journals that I will likely transcribe at some future date).
In some cases the names have been changed to protect the innocent, but in all cases, I’m not transcribing those that would reveal too much about anyone or reflect misguided opinions that I later learned to be untrue.
I write everything, and exactly how I feel, and sometimes (I wont say most often) I’m later proven wrong.
The three journals illustrated here like all my journals had titles: Slow Drowning on a
Flowers and Other Pickable Weeds, and Substitute Intelligence. This last was named
by Pauly, and included an inscription and drawing, which is below, and an
introductory poem written by Hank (also shown below). The blue Volkswagen Hank
refers to is the one Pauly’s girlfriend picked me and Hank up in after our car
crash on Fast River April 18, 1972.
Hank’s neck was broken. My nose was broken again – this time as a result of an
accident rather than … well, we won’t go into that.
But in going back to these, I go back in time and relive moments, some very painful, and learn from them that ultimately, I haven’t changed a whole lot, and that what was valid then, is valid now, and writing is at the core of me, who I am, and who I will ever be.