A Writer's Diary is More than a List
Written by
Edith O Nuallain
August 2012
Written by
Edith O Nuallain
August 2012

I’m writing again, and have been, on a more or less daily basis since last May, since my father’s birthday, his first birthday after he died last September. That was the day when I finally opened up a special word document on my computer and began to keep a log for the first time ever of what I was writing. It felt somehow significant, as if taking this action on this particular day, not the day before, nor the one after, but on the 22nd May 2012 imposed a layer of meaning upon the event which far superseded any outer, obvious sense of ordinariness normally attached to this, the simple act of writing a list of accomplishments achieved, as if a veil had been gently placed upon the words written and typed, a meaning brought to bear which only I could ever perceive. I am of course not referring here to that universal quality of writing which each of us hopes to generate with our words, encompassing meanings far and beyond the particularities of our own small lives, yet lived and stretched out upon a blank white canvas, a sheet which we hope will stimulate a response from some quiet reader somewhere. [After all, it was only a log or diary.]

No, what I did felt utterly personal. It felt good, nay deeply meaningful, to mark my ‘progress’, (or was it my commitment?) on this auspicious day. A sort of badge, a sign, a lodestar even, like an ancient stone set upon a hill announcing that this is sacred land, and here is where I am headed. My list of accomplishments was/is permeated with the language of my soul.

There was a hiatus, of course. Life happens. Things go awry. But it didn’t last for too long, or at least not as long as in times past. I got over myself in a much more timely manner than ever before. This too feels somehow significant, as if the groundwork, the self-same structure set in place by my writer’s log, had left a shadow of itself, calling to me from the depths, from my own hidden caves and chasms.

“When that which drew from out the boundless deep/Turns again home.” [Crossing the Bar, Alfred, Lord Tennyson]

Writing always feels like coming home.

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