Haven’t blogged in almost a month; haven’t been able to keep up with weekly posts. Trying out something new now – diary entries made directly here. It’s rough and choppy writing, but then, it’s a diary entry. Hoping I keep up with this. Stay safe, y’all.
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
The weather was surprising today, as if making up its mind. It rained for a minute in the morning while the sun was out – my mother said sparrows get married when that happens. Of course we both know it’s not true, but it’s interesting to note the sort of explanations humans have come up with for such events.
After lunch I joined Sonavee on the terrace – the sky was covered with clouds wherever I looked – grey clouds, white clouds, silver clouds, black clouds, all spread out. A dark mass made its way westward and there was a wind, not cold, but not warm either. Just enough of a respite from the humidity that has been troubling the city for a couple of weeks now.
“Doesn’t it look like a painting?” Sonavee asks me. “I’m going to take pictures.” She moves to take some of us but I refuse. I’m not fond of having my pictures taken when I know I’m not in my best, like now. I wish I had aesthetic pictures of me, good pictures, but I just don’t like being in front of the camera.
I walk to the edge of the terrace, looking out over the roofs of the buildings around us. Everyone’s indoor, probably having their lunch or napping. There are a couple of kids on the terrace a few streets away. Otherwise it’s just us, the clouds, the wind, and the birds – crows and pigeons and eagles.
I look about and below and imagine myself describing all of this. The words are in my head already and within that piece that I’m writing in my head, I wonder to myself about all of this; this series is an attempt to get back into posting regularly and into keeping a record of my life, to write aesthetic stuff.
I don’t know how exactly to explain that last bit. My diary habit is almost dead – it only sees the “dear diary” sort of entry once a blue moon; most pages are filled with ideas and plans and lists and doodles and handwriting experiments. This type of post is a way to romanticize life, to focus on the parts of it I like, to feel like Ruskin Bond, whose journaling style gave me this idea, and a recent craving to read things that make little things look beautiful. Tumblr textposts are great at doing that, so is Bond, and the idea of nature essays and books with beautiful covers.
There’s been this urge recently to live more aesthetically and I’m trying to do so, albeit very very slowly, taking a small action here and there – mostly wishing for and dreaming of a more aesthetic life than actually living it.
Maybe this series of posts will be a more definite start – maybe it’ll force me to live more aesthetically so that I can write all about it here. Or maybe it’ll change the way I look at things and try to romanticize the little things as they are now, without changing much.
And that brings me back to that line I’m writing in my head as I look out over the neighborhood: when I’ll read these words in the future, these words that are trying to make things poetic, will I remember this time as more romantic, more beautiful than it actually is? Am I lying to my future self?
I find it hard to write what’s not honest. Am I creating a lie, or am I simply highlighting the good parts of life and describing them in a way that makes them sound precious, because otherwise they’ve become such ordinary things that we’ve stopped being surprised or moved by them?
Probably the latter. But my mind needs to spell out all its worries in writing before saying, “Of course, I knew this was the answer, but I thought we should first put it all into words.”
My mind works weirdly.
I’m alone on the terrace now, writing this. A little while ago Sonavee was sitting next to me. We were both silent. I was too aware of the moment – you get to see it in books, two characters sitting together, wanting to say something but not having the ability to. I wondered what I should say to Sonavee. Should I ask her about her life? Her friends? I’m thinking of the main character in the series I’m hooked to right now, The Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst, and comparing myself to her. Both elder sisters. Both having younger sisters they want to keep safe. Both loving their families but not exactly showing it.
I know I could be a better sister. I don’t know where to start. This conversation could be that place, but I don’t have the right question, a question that’s good enough. Maybe a question that doesn’t feel forced. I end up asking about her holiday homework instead. She climbs down a little later to go work. And now as I write this, I realize I should have asked her about her friends. I’d have had to reframe it a couple of times. But that was fine. This is isn’t a book or movie; our conversation wasn’t obliged to flow smoothly. Maybe there’s no right or wrong or good enough question. Maybe you just start somewhere, anywhere. I should keep this in mind next time. I could build a strong relationship with her. It’s not too late.
Sunday, 8 July 2020
This is not going to be a daily thing. Every month there inevitably come a series of days where I’m too busy inside my head to notice what’s going on outside of me. Even if I bother to look, whatever’s going on around me doesn’t seem as important as what’s going on within. The details and the beauty and the little moments don’t matter. I’m sad and that’s what I want to focus on, even though I really don’t want to feel what I am feeling. I’m not gonna write about the bad days, no matter how good a sentence I come up with in my head to describe them. If and when in the future I reread these entries, I don’t want to remember these days – it’s the reason that I’ve avoided delving back into the dozen or so diaries I’ve kept since I was 12. There’s stuff in there, that though trivial, I know will make me cry and add on to the pathetic mess I become when I’m down in the dumps. I do not want to make these posts a place to avoid too. So I’ll keep them out of here. And it won’t really count as lying to my future self. She’ll know bad days happen. I don’t need to wax eloquent about them.
I read an essay on Longreads this morning that talks about loneliness in just the way I feel it but perhaps have somehow not managed to convey to others. Each word of that brilliant but sad essay hit too close to home. I told my friend that the descriptions are so accurate that I’d print it and hand it out to all the people who’ve tried to make me feel better to make them understand that they’re well-meaning words don’t really help – mine is a problem where words aren’t the solution.
I plan on emailing the writer – I went about my morning thinking about what I’d write to her, and thinking about my own essay on loneliness, something that I keep planning to write but haven’t penned a single word of. Today, I thought maybe I’d finally, finally start it. But I spent too long thinking about it and crafting sentences in my head rather than noting them down immediately, and now I’ve forgotten them all.
Now I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll actually sit down to write that essay. I want to, but sometimes I’m too lazy, sometimes the flow of sentences in my head is so good that I indulge in them and don’t write them down, and sometimes, for some strange reason, I think that it’s wrong to write about my loneliness. I recall now that this morning I came up with the perfect sentence to describe this reluctance, but I’ve forgotten that too.
I wonder if I’ll ever learn…