Journaling: Saying Goodbye To Another Writing Journal

Dear Reader,

The end is near. Today I’ll fill up the last few lines in my journal.Then I’ll look through it to assure myself I have actually thought and done a few things since I started it December 12, ’08. I’ll leaf through it and remember I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (I tape ticket stubs newspaper articles, flyers, and other scrapbook type items in my journal), The Reader, Slumdog Millionaire, The Grocer’s Son. I’ll reread the prayer card from my father-in-law’s funeral, the cardinal illustration  will remind me of his favorite bird song. I’ll read a sympathy card and notes from my daughter’s eulogy for him, “Grandpa Sam.” I’ll feel satisfaction that ’ve crossed off hundreds of items in my to-do lists and frustration that some things never got done.  I’ll also see I’ve scribbled and highlighted and turned my thoughts around and around until I didn’t recognize them anymore, that I talked to myself, scolded, and sometimes praised myself. This pleases me.

The end is near. It’ll be bittersweet. I’ll deliberate before I select my next journal. I always do. I’ll wonder if I should go for the journal I received as a gift from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the one gorgeously filled with handmade paper, or for the thrift store find with a goofy cover intended for a teenage girl. Or will I choose one of the promotional notebooks I picked up at a publishing trade show? And I know once I pick “the one” I’ll feel guilty for abandoning my latest journal. I imagine my old journal will pout, ask what that new journal has that it doesn’t.  I’ll say, “What you once had that the journal before you didn’t: blank pages and potential.” “But, but, that’s not my fault,” it’ll say; and I’ll have to close my heart to its sputtering, just as I’ll close my closet door to it and the rest of my discarded journals.

My parting words might be “You’ve been an important part of my life, dear journal. Go sweetly into my past.”

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