I’m a spotty diarist at best. Last year about this time, just before I started Life In A Skillet, I sorted out all my various diaries and journals piled up in the closet, starting by tossing every single notebook containing just a single entry on January 1st with a resolution to lose weight into the trash. (Oops – I meant in the recycle). I kept the few random streams of teenage hormonal angst – some angst stretching into my 20’s – as well as every travelogue, including a surprisingly detailed yet detached account of a trip I made to San Antonio about 25 years ago. (An excerpt: “sat in a wine bar discussing the cult of intellectuals and where to find them.”) Seems I “journaled” only during my highs or lows; any account of normal day-to-day living is conspicuously absent. Stuck in my mind somewhere was the idea that writing an account of the day would be either self-important or boring, or most likely embarrassing.
That idea changed over the last twelve months; maybe the 21st-century reality craze finally caught up with me. I have a Moleskine reporter’s notebook, last year’s birthday gift from a friend, that is almost completely filled now with notes and doodles from my days. There’s a history of my kitchen. Haikus the family wrote while out to dinner, a future blog post as they are too good not to share. Notes on books I read, meals I ate, and a transcript of a conversation I had with a Las Vegas cab driver. A list of words that rhyme with “riparian.” Musings over the idea of magical thinking and the meaning of Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” I’m looking through this journal today and am fascinated – who knew I was so interesting??? No wonder people do this.
I’m also fascinated at looking back over this first year’s worth of Life In A Skillet entries. Each blog post and snapshot triggers memories of the rest of the story, the circumstances or emotions I’ve omitted. I mentioned the rain in this early blog post but didn’t say that it stormed so hard I was scared driving, and it was still storming so hard the next day I kept the boys home from school because I didn’t trust the bus driver or the high school kids to drive safely. Cleaning and steaming live crab at your house is delicious, to be sure. But I never mentioned the digestive mess left in the yard by raccoons or skunks scavenging crab guts in the grass. Ick. Then there’s the obligatory explanation at being absent from the blog for some period of time. Unnecessary, I know, because it’s my blog. And I trust that any of you reading this blog has enough of a life to not particularly care how often I put up a blog post.
My collection of blog posts also reminds me of all the things I didn’t, or haven’t, written about. The dinner party (ok, parties) that involved so much cooking and eating and drinking and cleaning that once I got the energy to write about them I realized I didn’t take any menu notes. My quest to make the perfect enchilada sauce from a recipe a fellow blogger sent to me. Trying to duplicate the awesome artichoke appetizer from Post Ranch’s Sierra Mar restaurant.
So it’s a new year. I’m moving forward, armed and ready with a fresh Moleskine to tackle my days. Stay tuned.