Bookish Posts vs. Diaries

Mom, Dad, and me.

Mom, Dad, and me (last century!)

I have written 328 posts in a year and two months.

Why put everything on the internet?

It is the fashion.  We write at Facebook or blogs.

Maybe in 10 years there will be silence.  Fashions change.

I wonder why I don’t write in a journal, but I do not.

I used to be strictly bookish, but I sometimes write diary entries. Some prefer the bookish posts, others prefer the diary.

“Best female writers?” Everybody’s there.  “Horse Races in Literature”?  Fantastic.

The most popular posts recently?    “Viragos Are Sometimes Inconsequential…” and “Library Books.”

I don’t even consider writing “real” articles or reviews.  Whatever I write is easier in a blog.

When critics find fault with blogs, they are thinking about a world of rough drafts.   It can take days, weeks, months to write a good article. Blogs are often more a collection of notes.  Often very good notes.  (I have read some excellent blogs lately.)  Journalists don’t understand bloggers’ socializing in comments and “challenges.”  Comments?  Well, why bother?  The Guardian now posts comments as articles, without, I presume, paying the commenters.

Before I move on to bookish things, I am going to write a post about my mother again.

She died last August.  I loved knowing that she was in the world, playing bridge, watching the soaps, not cooperating at the nursing home. I didn’t visited every day.  When I couldn’t bicycle, I took the bus and then called my husband for a ride home. (The neighborhood wasn’t safe after 5, or more like 3.)  I would plan to visit for one hour, and then stay till 7 p.m.  Since she wouldn’t eat the prepared food at the nursing home, I rushed out and bought hamburgers from McDonald’s; another time she resisted taking a shower for a week, and I had to convince her to go with the aide; and another time she had fallen and been left in the bathroom all night.

And this was one of the better nursing homes.

There is a lot of grief in families as one gets older.  My father wanted to visit her.  She was fascinated by him, but would have been mortified to receive him in old age.  She thought a great deal about how she looked,. She wore a wig.  She worried about the spots on her face.  You know the creams advertised on TV?  They don’t work.   If she and my father had stayed together, she would not have been in a nursing home.  That was the most exasperating thing.

My mother never remarried; my father had his pick.  I tried to straighten things out from time to time.  Utterly ridiculous.

And so another day of wondering about the past.  I really miss her.

5 thoughts on “Bookish Posts vs. Diaries

  1. I keep (or kept) an intermittent journal but I do it less now that I blog. Obviously I just have a creative urge that has to be satisfied somewhere and the blog does that.

    I emphathise so much with you on the issue of ageing relatives. My poor mother in law is 92 and still quite coherent but frail in body and not able to take care of herself. We are trying to keep her at home if we can because of the level of care she needs – after her last bout in hospital she came home covered in lesions because they hadn’t been looking after her (a ward with indifferent, uninterested, uncaring staff). We live longer nowadays but that brings its problems…


  2. It’s that you have so much in you stirred up to share and make the world richer for it; that’s why you blog. Not to blog is not to be alive. Blogs are places for liberty: you don’t have to follow anyone’s agenda. I’m just now beginning two wonderful books which intermingle autobiography with reading: My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead and Portrait of a Novel [James’s Portrait of a Lady] by Gorra — you do a little of this many days.


  3. Karen, I am so sorry about your mother-in-law. Terrible that she came home with lesions! That shouldn’t have happened. Yes, it’s much better for them to stay at home, and with some of the services it can be done. The nursing homes aren’t really prepared for old age, though better than we are after a certain point. There are some great employees, some not so great. And for that to have happened in a hospital is unforgivable.

    Ellen, I really look forward to reading Mead’s book. I very much enjoyed her essay. Yes, blogging is our way and a kind of writing that can be helpful to us!


  4. I am terrified of old age. Yes. I’ve said it. But there are people REALLY terrified by it, so much so that they kill themselves. Nelly Arcan for example, a quebecoise writer, very troubled.
    I workout a lot but I don’t eat as healthy as I should, I want to be old but I want to be healthy and independent for as long as possible. Every time I hear a horror story about elderly neglect I get insomnia. Sometimes I feel life is just not fair.

    Why put everything on the internet? I’ve been wondering about that a lot. There are so many other mediums available. Since the 90’s I’ve dreamed of putting out a zine… you know, that clunky, collage type of publication that publishes really fearless pieces, unlike most bloggity-blogs out there. I wonder why I publish a blog too? If when I hit publish I wonder and hope that someone will read and make a connection with me. I guess that’s my answer. I publish on the web to find friends and skip the small talk.


  5. Luisa, we try not to think about old age! Carolyn Heilbrun committed suicide, and, if I recall, that was because she felt she had lived long enough. But the other solution is: hang on!

    I love ‘zines. No idea where you can find them. I do wonder if we’ll tire of the internet and go back to paper. By the way, I’m reading a book right now that I think would be perfect for you. I’ll write about it and you will see…


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