Monday, May 29, 2006

It has been a very long time since I was able to keep a regular journal, which is sad, because everytime I pick up an old one and read my notes -- a tissue of quotation, ideas for pieces, half-thoughts, a few diary kinds of things -- I find something useful. Useful in that it makes me think, gives me that frisson of thinking, wakes me up a little. Here are a couple of things I found in a journal from 1999. On June 9 this from Fleur Jaegy, "And aren't they our forerunners too somehow, these anonymous people we find in photographs?" Or this dream from June 16, "Nightmare. Awake in the dream. Room filled with wind. Something to do with Sebald. See the cover of The Emigrants. Some caricature of Sebald with a huge mustache leers triumphantly at me. Desperate to wake. Finally do." Or later in the month, this bit of Wittgenstein, from my favorite, On Certainty, "Here I am inclined to fight windmills, because I cannot yet say the thing I really want to say." Or this cryptic thing, from July 31st, in Detroit, "Storms belong to Shakespeare."

Then this, undated:

"If I were to make a chart of my recent mental geography it might include, at one point of the compass, scientists' recent discovery of objects at the edge of the universe that are older than light; at another, the village of ________, in central Mali, north of Timbuktu, which is slowly being swallowed up by sand; and at a third, my dismay, not to say my horror, at the thousands of hits that turned up when I entered the word 'decay' into a search engine..."


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