Gray days. Well, at least it isn't a gray raining day here today! Though I must admit it is still spongy from the rains last night. Something about this kind of weather makes me burrow into my cave of a computer room and often gets me writing. Who wants to be out in that kind of weather anyway?? I have dogs sleeping and music playing and with a huge mug of tea what more could I ask for to warm myself on one of these dreary of days? I write and think and share my daily fauz pas and funny experiences.
I usually write simply to express how I'm feeling and articulate what's on my mind at any given moment. Almost everyone blogs these days, and could probably makes for a decent diary, or journal, but how many really take time to try expressing themselves fully in words and describing the world around them? I do of course, I can be crazy that way sometimes. I know, I can be a bit over the top when it comes to writing, but why has it a dark art for most kids when they are in middle and high school these days? Kids are so frustrated with, or are scared about writing! It's like they think they need to be gifted in this discipline to succeed as a writer, even just a journal writer.
The art of journaling, or writing a diary have moved into the computer world...well, sort of! If kids do write a blog, it is short only a few lines that describes how they feel but rarely a piece that shares our every day world. When we look at history, some of the best information we have about a given time comes from the journals historians have discovered. And those tomes really chronicle the life of every day people and what it was like to live during those periods in our history.
Examples that really made a difference in our view of early centuries can be found in some of the books we have read, and some of the great history shows we've seen over the years. One of the first that comes to mind for me is of course The Diary of Anne Frank, but there were many others that opened a window into a different age for us even more.
Samuel Peyps who lived in 17th century England gave us a vivid picture of the how the Plague in 1665 that ravaged London and what it felt like to survive the great fire of London in 1666 as well. A member of Parliament and a British naval administrator he wrote prolifically and gave us such a full vision of the city we would not have except for his insights.
From the volumes of diaries of those at home and on the war front of the American Civil War we have a picture of the individuals and familes that experienced this horrific period in our nation's history. If you've seen the Ken Burn's miniseries on that war you know that much of the images of how that conflict affected the lives of ordinary people came from those touching thoughts and word pictures from the many diaries that have survived as historical documents to our past.
Where will we get those images for future generations if our young people aren't shown the simple joys of sharing a life in the pages of a journal or diary? I really have no idea how we can spark that interest in our children and young people, but to give the world more than the annals of our governments as a record of how we really lived we need to find a way - today.