It has been hovering in the back of my mind for lo these many years that I must yet again make an effort to write a journal–with diligence and a firm resolve to continue it faithfully into the future. ‘Diligence’ and ‘resolve’ are provisos that must accompany this intent, because I have started a journal, or diary, many times previously, and somehow it has fallen by the wayside.
I think perhaps my problem is that once I start to write, I cannot easily stop before the sheer volume causes my writing hand to cramp up. This would not be a bad thing (the pain aside), if time constraints did not thereby become an added obstacle to my journaling time. At some busy time in my life, I will look at my journal and have to say to myself that I do not have an hour or more to write in it. As subsequent days go by, the tendency to avoid taking up the journal intensifies, and it gets relegated to a place on a shelf instead of my bedside table. Moving it from where the sight of it nags my guilty conscience is a necessary step for the promotion of a peaceful night’s sleep. And so I forget about it entirely. But thoughts of it lurk in the back of my mind, and I know that one day–oh yes–I will try again.
Why do I want to write a journal? Lousy memory, partly. I could use a source of reference for remembering things and events. Also I find that when I record the events of the day, I can feel that I have accomplished something with my time. I always appear more useful and productive on paper, for some reason. (Fiction? Probably.) Also, some thoughts that are irritating, annoying or worrying can be offloaded in writing, and thereby cease, in some measure, from disturbing my mental balance and emotional harmony. I really believe that I think better in writing. It was always a way for me to see issues more clearly, and settle on future actions with more confidence and determination.
In past years, I have used ‘the New Year’s Resolution’ as a way of resuming journaling, but hadn’t intended that this year. My thought to begin yet another journal started with a view of some beautiful handwriting in a historical document which I saw on television in a program presented by historian Dr. Lucy Worsley. I’ve tried my hand at calligraphy, and believe that I might have some aptitude for it. Be that as it may, I do enjoy trying. So the writing tools one requires for making beautiful handwriting came to mind in connection with this–and also something that I remember from my elementary school days, when we used fountain pens (ballpoint pens not being sold in those days; oh dear, that dates me): peacock-blue ink.
I wondered whether it was still possible to buy peacock-blue ink, so I searched on the internet, and found some bottles of it on Amazon, where it’s called ‘turquoise’ ink. There were two bottles available, and I bought both of them. Then I wondered about a pen. I have cartridge fountain pens with a calligraphy kit, but obviously I now needed a fountain pen that could be refilled from a bottle. Found a nice-looking Pilot Metropolitan pen on Amazon (a Japanese make, apparently), with a lovely gold finish, and some decent reviews from previous purchasers. Am waiting for it to arrive at my door.
When it does, I shall begin my journal again–or, rather, a new edition. And this time I will enforce a quota on the amount of writing to be done at one sitting. No more ‘writing until my hand cramps.’ I shall write a single page a night, just before bedtime, with my shiny gold fountain pen and lovely peacock-blue ink.