Sunday, January 18, 2015

Burn, baby, burn!

Community Blog Post #2

"As I raked up my burn pile that fateful morning, reaching for old journals secreted in hatboxes, piled in trunks, smothered at the bottom of dress bags, I riffled through the pages, reading. I was shocked that even things that had happened 20, 30 years ago felt as familiar and as raw as if they had happened yesterday. That so unnerved me that I stopped reading. I didn’t want to wade back into those depths, where a powerful riptide still churned. Worse, I was struck by the repetition of patterns over the years: the way hurt yearning in 1977 sounded like pained longing in 2007."

After reading the Dominique Browning piece, I was ready to hunt for the nearest lighter and set many - not all -  of my journals ablaze. The journal of self-discovery that led me into teaching, no. After sixteen years of teaching - and still loving every minute of it - I revel in rereading those entries, reliving the agony of working in a profession that I almost immediately hated and groping around in the dark to find something that would stir my soul. Every inch of that journal marks that path of self-discovery, and it is thrilling to read it and know, so many years later, that I made the right choice, the choice of my heart and soul.
And yet. There is one journal that I have kept for years, the journal that I have turned to in every dark moment, and it is filled with hate and anger and rage, and it is raw and unhappy and depressed and insane, and it needs to burn. That journal encapsulates the worst of me, every terrible thought I have had as an adult, and it really should be sandwiched between tar-blackened covers, for it houses not one dark night of the soul, but ALL the dark nights of my soul. I can't even properly call it venting - it seethes, it writhes, it cowers, it burns in its intensity. It is only fitting that I should set it ablaze and symbolically free myself from all of that hatred so that I can finally step out into the light.

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