I LIED TO MYSELF — ON KEEPING A JOURNAL

I learned something about myself the other day, while reading my journal entries from 1947  (that’s 69 years ago).  We had a “maid/babysitter” named Georgia who was pleasant and had a good sense of humor and whose favorite radio program was Arthur Godfrey (and all the little Godfreys).  I had always felt a little proud of myself for correcting her when she said one day she would cook at my wedding. I recalled saying that one day she would dance at my wedding, and her laughing response, “Wouldn’t that be something.”   What I found I had written at the time was that I had corrected her saying she would dance at my wedding and my replying that she would cook at my wedding.  In both instances she laughed and said, “Wouldn’t that be something.”  I do remember for sure, however, that when her elderly husband died she had to borrow a few dollars from my father. I remember thinking how unfeeling he was to begrudge the loan and that we never saw Georgia again, nor of course the money.  She was a positive light from my childhood, and we were so poor she couldn’t have been making much money working for us.  I did recognize a paucity of compassion from my father.  I think I always knew that Black Lives Do Matter.

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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2 Responses to I LIED TO MYSELF — ON KEEPING A JOURNAL

  1. Sautee Barb says:

    Yes, they do, and you doubtless did. But note that it seemed more appropriate to the 1947 you to think that cooking would be a more appropriate activity for her than dancing. And it probably really was hard for your father to part with even a few dollars then. Mine was selling tires at Walsh’s service station.

    Like

    • Nan Mykel says:

      Thanks. By the bye, a friend is going to check with Nelsonville art galleries Friday for the location of Sarah Herman, aka Love. I couldn’t find her on facebook or the phone book.

      Like

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