Truth. Journal Writing.


The phrase "America's Little Helper" comes from a seminar several semesters ago. An incident happened that has become a private joke between Sara, Chan, and me--not quite fair to the rest of you--is it? Definition: People trying to fix something they think is breaking, which isn't really breaking. Ha. So sorry. I'll explain more later.


Dan said...

Truth hurts. I used to avoid the truth at all costs because it was uncomfortable for me to face the truth and realize my imperfections. So I wrote lies. Nothing I wrote was really true. Sure, I might start my writing with a little truth, but when my writing revealed something I didn't want to admit, I lied. I faked a perspective that made me feel like the person I wanted to be. But the truth is, I'm not the person I want to be. And I can't be the person I want to be by ignoring the person I am.
So now I write the truth (I try at least). I search for my flaws because when I find those flaws I am so disgusted by them that I have to change.
I've learned that there is so much more to writing than just writing well. There is a whole process of discovery that we miss out on if we are unwilling to face the truth. Yes the truth hurts. But pain is good.
When I paint a picture, and Brother Parson tells me to start over, it hurts; and he knows it hurts. If he wanted me to feel good about myself, he could lie. He could tell me that I am the best artist ever, but truth doesn't go away. And I will have to face the truth eventually. The only difference between facing the truth later is that I cannot improve; in essence, I am damned.
When God tells us to repent, he knows it will hurt. He doesn't want us to hurt, but he knows that it is better for us to face the truth now so that we can improve ourselves rather than missing out on opportunities and blessings. People who resist the truth in the Book of Mormon are called "stiffnecked" in the scriptures. These people never progress because they refuse to acknowledge their imperfections--because it hurts.

E. Anona said...

Oh people, how I miss you. I miss having good drama and new people like Shannon and Ivor (am I allowed to miss getting to know people?)and the clean feeling of knowing what your feelings are because everyone else has them. (Of course, then they start giving them back to you--that part is not so fun.)

I was walking in the hall today and heard someone say: "See you at Seminar tonight!" My head whipped around expecting to see Dan or Jenny or Chandler (so surreal talking to you on the phone, Chandler. I'm not really a phone person.) and instead, strange people.

My world is full of dead people right now--four history classes, a D&C class, and a job reading newspapers from the 1800s.

No English at all; I don't know myself.

"Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light." (Dylan Thomas)

And some teenagers held a drunken party in Robert Frost's house.

Sky said...

It’s late (or early). I don't want to think of what I'm forgetting to pack for New York and my writer's conference, so I'm watching five men play poker on TV--Intense. It grows very quiet before they turn over the cards. I hate the nervous look on each face. They chew their lips, and one guy pulls at his nose, while their eyes dart around the table. No trust or love there; that’s for sure.

Last night, an hour after the Prophet died, something flashed bright yellow through the bedroom window, followed by a deep rumbling, like a big potatoes truck rolling over the bridge or the herd of buffalo in DANCES WITH WOLVES. I walked out on the deck with Patch and Cat peeking out between my boots at a sideways blizzard. But the sky filled up twice with shots of lightning and thunder. Tyler, isn't that scientifically impossible?
But,... Whatever. It was sweet, because I imagined it was part of the welcome home celebration for the Prophet and pictured how happy he was to see his wife. They probably hung onto each other a long time as others stood back out of deep respect. I can still see his big smile.
Megan couldn't stop crying last night. He's been her only Prophet. On her way to work, she passed hundreds of people in front of the temple at 6 am this morning—all very quiet and holding candles. And she cried all over again. "What's the matter with you?" I was trying to shove words in between her hiccups. "He's very happy; Heavenly Father is happy; the angels are smiling, and they welcome him with great honor, WHICH HE EARNED. People always leave, more so now as I grow older, but they don't ever really leave us. It's just an illusion of earth time." It didn't help. She has a hole in her heart for now. We miss you, Anona. Be careful. Dead people in books can be very dangerous. They’ll whisper in your head when you try to sleep until you make friends with them.
(Oooo, yuk, these people on TV are whining and blaming each other now for the money they’re losing.)
By the way, we're going down to Las Vegas to visit EmPo around March. She's cooking steaks and taking us to see Cirque du Soleil. We'll pick you up on the way through. Be ready.

Leanna said...

Wow. I really miss the Center. Sometimes I forget that people are going to classes on campus without me until I drop Lance off up at the Smith, and I think "Wait a minute...shouldn't I be rushing from class to class?" And my feet start to feel the magnetic pull to go to the Center like they would always do whenever I needed to work or even if I just had extra time to spare.

Student teaching is nice, but I miss seminar. It always pushed me to think--to go places in my mind that I didn't want to go. Without that push, I feel like I don't know myself anymore. And if anyone should know myself, it should be me, right? Sometimes I feel like Sis. Morgan knows me better than I do, which is kind of a scary feeling, yet comforting at the same time. Hmm...

Julie M said...

Sis. Morgan, when are you going to New York? Do you have anytime to come see me in PA? We are only four hours from New York City. I could draw you a map...or you could take the train.

Anona, I liked your writing. It made me happy. It made me remember that feeling of unity with those in the Center. Sometimes I think I should be able to just let go now. But I don't think I want to. Or maybe I'm just not ready.

Sarachel said...

"when my writing revealed something I didn't want to admit, I lied. I faked a perspective that made me feel like the person I wanted to be."

This is how I used to write, too--even in my journal. I thought about the generations after me that would read the things I had written. I thought they would curse my memory because I had my first boyfriend at 15. I wanted to be a good influence in the lives of my posterity--a perfect example.

Instead of writing about Mark, I wrote about the wise counsel of the prophet not to date until age 16. I was an incredible hypocrite. In my journal--the place where I should be able to be myself--I lied. I wasn't happy with the choices I made, so I constructed a facade with choices I knew I should have made.

Every day I wrote in my journal. Every day I made the choice to hide further behind an overly bright veneer of righteousness.

I stopped writing in my journal a few months after Mark broke up with me. I couldn't bring myself to fill another blank page with my pseudolife.

I haven't written in my journal much since then. I got out of the habit, then forgot why I stopped in the first place.

Chan said...

Ha! I actually wonder, occasionally, what on earth I'll do about the unmentionable things I write in my journal. Oh well.

E. Anona said...

Hey Sara, I leave out a lot in the journals too, or go back and scribble out stuff. Unfortunately, posterity's still going to think I was only interested in guys and that I got mad at people a lot.

Chan said...

My mission president (should that be capitalized?) told us that when he was dating his future wife he gave her his journal to read, thinking it would show her how great a guy he was. However, he forgot about some of the things he wrote, and she was very unimpressed. The end.

Sky said...

Interesting, Sara.I have a friend who is very old--much older than I am. I asked her one time, "So what has life been like for you?" She looked away for a moment, then said, "It's been like having a dream."
I write my journals now for myself, so I'll remember what I've lived through. We keep journals for different reasons. I remember a line from my Grandmother's: "Now it's time for me to be honest." Everything I had read up to that point had been boring and far away. But when she wrote that line, I connected with her as if she still stood in front of me. The rest of her journal was filled with lows and highs; she complained; she wept in between her words; she joked . . . . But, I felt like I was seeing and hearing a real human being who tried to deal with life the best she knew how. I felt, hummmm, sort of relieved. It takes an incredible amount of energy to lie, and it usually pushes people away, so I wonder why we "lay waste our powers" in trying to "appear" a certain way. We all do it (if we're honest) at one time or another. Why? If we don't write to record the truth, then ...(I have no answer). What is it we want? What d'ya say, "Little Tomato"?
It was so strange to look around at the party for Anona, Julie, and Leanna. They've just always been here. Soooo, then,.... We'll just always keep it that way. I miss Bryndie also. Is she down your way, Anona?
Kirsten (in Ogden)wants your address. Her mom wrote me, so send your e-mail, and I'll forward this to you.

Julie M said...

We want acceptance.
At least, I think that's why I hide from the truth and say things I don't really mean, smile when I want to cry, and laugh at jokes I don't find remotely funny. I think I know what someone wants, what kind of personality I think they will get along with the best, and I assimilate. Disgusting, isn't it? It's like being a chameleon, except so not as fun. Because chameleons get to hide and become cool colors and stuff. (Did you know that the chameleon is probably deaf? So why would a chameleon be trying to blend in with other people if they can't even hear what they are saying about them? Or maybe that's why. Maybe chameleons are super paranoid).
But then I get around people who I know will embrace me... no matter what. And although that is so comforting, it is also terrifying. What if I can't figure out who the heck I am to show them? What if I am so used to assimilating all these people, that I've lost myself in the last joke told and the last fake compliment made and I don't have anyone real to show this person?
So then I keep pretending?
I don't know, know I don't think I'm making any sense.
Did Kirsten want my address or Anona's? I was confused as to whom you were referring.

Sky said...

Hmmmmm...This is an interesting discussion line. I just realized after reading these entries that more than famine, war, loneliness, or death, I'm afraid of disappearing--which is an impossibility. Yes. But I can't quite convince my heart that it's afraid of a lie.