Diarist: lost (pre)occupations

Whilst a scribbling long-hand in a journal, I came across this quote:

All loss is gain. Since I have become so near-sighted I see no dust or squalor and therefore conceive of myself as living in splendor.

– Alice James (1848 – 1892), American diarist

And I thought, me too! I can live in splendor.  A pedicure lasts longer just by removing my glasses. As viewed from 5 feet away, chips and scratches disappear! Looking off into the distance, the landscape cleans up into green grass and blue sky, weeds-B-gone! Dandelions and gray clouds disappear.

So just who is Alice James?  And what is a “diarist”?

I put on glasses and looked into Alice James the “diarist” and that’s when her history took a dark turn. Alice James is known primarily for documenting her own struggles with mental health. Her famous siblings — Henry James, writer (Turn of the Screw) and William James, noted philosopher and psychologist — may have assisted her mental health problems both as cause and therapy … and for now, I’ll leave it at that, take the glasses off, return to splendor or at least a fabricated dustless image of Alice James scribbling in her diary.

Alice James was an expert at reporting on her own mental health as recorded in a detailed diary.   Diarists take the time to document their life.   Presumably the diarist’s tools are paper and ink.  Or not.

And so I submit that bloggers and blogging are the new diaries and diarists, the new generation of Alice James’.  For this diarist blogger, my tools are mouse, keyboard, and WordPress.

There are lots of us here shouting into the great unknown.  Exploring a new kind of insanity?

2 thoughts on “Diarist: lost (pre)occupations

  1. I feel like I’m shouting into the great unknown, as well as tilting toward windmills with my imaginary light saber. Aren’t we all a bit insane, now and then, more or less?

    Love your posts, my friend.

    Like

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