Burning books has always brought a sadness to my mind. The idea of setting the pages of anyone’s work aflame is like setting fire to their soul. I believe the words we choose to write, whether they be in a novel or a journal, come from our hearts. What we write about, we constantly think about.
I have kept journals since I was a child. One in particular was very dark and contained many secrets. I had kept it under my mattress for four whole years of high school. I was graduated now. I wanted nothing to do with that past. Sleeping on it every night, I could feel the painful energy that I had soused into the pages with ink, tears, and blood. I stood on the edge of our round fireplace, fanning through and beaming at the stains of emotion cover to cover. A squeeze of the trigger and a flame emerged at the end of the black shaft. The bright flame against the dark backdrop of my neighbors yard heated my face as small tears swelled in the creases of my eyelids. I lightly dipped the corner of my journal into the flame and it smoothly began to spread across the mahogany red cover. I dropped it into the old ashes of nights past and watched it turn to a glowing black core.
Although I burned the hurtful memories of the past when I was younger, I would never do so again. At that time in my life I was a lost soul in need of a map and a journey. I had such negative feelings inside of me, burning documentation of my later realized amazing life seemed to be the answer. Since then, I have grown to regret nothing in the past. I learn from my mistakes and elapsed experiences, looking ahead so I may find happiness.
In Dominique Browning’s essay Burning Your Diaries, the writer admits to being a snoop and having the worry of their children finding forty years worth of diaries. I personally do not have that worry. My secrets are anything but shameful to me, I want people to love me for who I am good, bad, known, or unknown.