Keeping a journal often feels incredibly time-consuming, whether I'm in the act of writing down the right-now, or reading entries from years ago. But going back and reading those old entries always reminds me how worthwhile - priceless, even - the practice is. I also find it interesting how with the passage of time many, if not all, of my entries eventually become something I want to share. Not sure what that means.
I posted the following on MySpace about a trillion years ago, back when MySpace wasn't a fossil. I post it here because...well, read it. It's fairly lucid and timeless. Why do aquariums make me think like this? The water, maybe?
"Aquarium today. First time since I was fifteen. And of course I can't stop the discourse in my head as I stand beneath hundreds of suspended mobile-fish - silver pink-lit sparkle flooding down. Who was I? How was I?
"Last time I stood beneath this simple hypnosis, I was silly and under the impression that my whole life spread ahead of me. I wore my hair cropped boy-short, I shunned makeup, dressed in plain sweatshirts and jeans, teenage fool, seriously high on life.
"Ten years later, I stand alone amidst the crowd of sullen parents, screaming children, and weary staff. I stand alone, back-lit in shimmer-pink flash: body hidden in a black hoodie and floor-length kilt, heavy boots under the hem, my annoying-today dreads pulled back under a bandana. The details tell a story, though some would argue otherwise.
"I feel a weird kinship with the little chestnut-and-tan-splotched sharks in the shallow touch tank: swimming round and round the same old loop, most of the aquarium din muffled (I guess) through the water, suffering endless pokes from thousands of fingers a day. It feels rude of me to dip my tattooed wrist in the cold! water, yet I feel like maybe my touch could convey my love to them through their skin, soft one direction and like a cat's tongue the other. So I do. Gently.
"The Jules Verne gallery, well, I could hide in that red dark forever. Old-timey map-style sea monsters rampage on the walls; sad music fills softly. Jellyfish spiral endlessly in their glowing cylindrical tank that rises above my head into darkness, a glowing pillar of pre-complicated life. Over-sized portholes let you watch the glow shift over king crabs and a giant Pacific octopus. A really over-sized one offers the first view of the sharks gliding in their sweet machine silence. A bench in the corner with some pilings behind it, netted in the waving criss-cross light from the water, makes me want to not go a step more. Go to Long Boat Key and never come back.
"Life makes me sad. That doesn't mean I don't absolutely love it. Understand? Some parts of life are the best thing that you'll never have again. You want it forever, but forever would extinguish what it is. These brief shots live brightest in the loss of them. Some parts of life, that parts that make all of it possible, you underrate. You always forget your heart is beating. You whine and bitch and complain grandiose, but still your heart beats.
"And life, the heart mixed with the burns mixed with the illusions mixed with the agony mixed with the agonizing joy mixed with the boredom mixed with the disappointment mixed with the storyline mixed with characters mixed with all the stupidity mixed with all the wisdom, is all one. One glowing spiral going nowhere. A universal heart."