My purple journal is my official diary. It tightly holds what I would have forgotten if I had not jotted it down. Ideas that rustle like stirring autumn leaves caught in a tizzy from a northerly gust.
While thumbing through the pages of my journal, I find a list of topics. Some I have already written about and need to check off:
Learning to play the piano – Check.
Carving lovers' names in trees – Check.
My husband's "perfect" hearing – Check.
Mom's Bible – Check.
Next door neighbor Phyllis – Check.
Gifts from strangers – Check.
Grocery shopping – Check.
Sloppy handwriting – Check.
Nebraska Highway 12 – Check.
Dad's eulogy – Check.
Losing Mom – Check.
Saying goodbye to Michael – Check.
My journal also notes book titles that I've not read, quotes from sermons and lectures that I paid attention to, unvarnished comments from passersby whom I did not know and words from the past that changed my life.
It is not orderly. The majority of entries are scribbled and hardly cohesive. Once in awhile, I notice a neat streak with round flowing perfectly legible words, but this is rare.
There's nothing private in my journal. But if there were, anyone snooping in it would have a hard time deciphering it.
I treasure my journal. If I had to leave home quickly and could only take what I could carry, my purple leather journal would be among my family photos and Dachshunds.
A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place national and state awards in The National Federation of Press Women competitions. Most recently, Damon's writing took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2008 Paula Damon