[Of course, that's a silly title for a blog post as it's all diarising, but somehow that title lets me feel a bit freer in the way I write this.]
- I keep turning on my computer with the intention of writing in my blog but then getting caught up in the 96 emails in my Outlook inbox and the 196 emails in my Gmail inbox and the 27 unread posts on my Google blog reader. (And occasionally, my student email account and yet another free email account which I rarely use.) I skim new emails, including the ones which tell me about online magazines or websites like Open Democracy which I should go and read, I wander over there without replying to the new emails, the inbox gets bigger, my guilt grows more intense, my focus gets cloudier, my mental energy is dispersed.
- Thursday last week, lunch with a friend whose parents died two years ago. I raised an idea which is much on my mind lately (by lately, I mean the past few years) - as an atheist, how do I make sense of the passing of time, of death, of meaning, or meaninglessness? I knew she'd know what I meant and she did. She talked about keeping documents from her parents' everyday lives, which somehow spoke of their lives, their existence over time - a personal historical record. But what happens to all these things when we die? So much is lost, forgotten. (Does that matter?)
- A friend's sibling has died of cancer, a man in his late 50s. I think that's the first adult-sibling-death in my circle of friends, though another friend's brother has lung cancer and can't be far behind.
- Friday, lunch with my uncle, who's almost 80. I remember when my grandfather, his father, turned 80 and how ancient that seemed to me as a teenager. We talked about the family tree - someone recently unearthed the fact that my great-grandmother had two or three children through a liaison (it's not clear if they were married) in her 20s - after that man died (this was in the 1880s), she somehow ditched the children and married again and had a second family of four - of whom the eldest was my grandmother. We don't think any of her second family knew about the first family. What a terrible secret to have lived with. I wonder if those first children were given to an orphanage or to relatives to raise? She seems to have left her past behind, moved states and changed religions. I'm currently studying Australian literature of the 1890s and thinking of the 'smallness' and harshness of this country at that time - especially towards women - gives me the creeps.
- Saturday - on the mid-north coast, we stood on one of those endless golden beaches and watched dolphins surfing, five or six of them at a time curving through the big waves. Words can't express how beautiful that was.
- I've dropped a subject at university, so I'm much happier and not quite as overwhelmed.