So I finally read Dad’s journal last night.
I’ve had it for about 3 months but just haven’t had the motivation to read it. Maybe I wasn’t ready to see his hand writing or I just didn’t want to deal with the feelings that would inevitably be involved but the journal has been on my desk in a plastic bag just waiting.
I placed the book in a highly visible area so that I would see it often and be reminded of its existence. Last night was polishing off a bottle of sauvignon blanc (we used some of it for the chicken) I picked it up and decided to read.
I was largely disappointed in what I found. Apparently it was his spiritual journal and mostly contained notes from the bible study sessions that he attended. Most of the content was fairly generic prayer request and what not but what really got me was the doodles and small notes that were interspersed among the ‘serious’ content. Words or names were written with flourishes or borders traced over and over again as if he would write down the speaker or subject and keep working the doodle until they moved onto a new topic. I could tell where he got bored or was searching for a word and aimlessly moved his pen into random patterns eventually forming some kind of image and then his thoughts would continue and so would the paragraph.
Every now and then I would discover a small quip that would make me giggle or smile as I picture him bored out of his gourd and Mom trying to keep him interested. One the back of one page is a few small pictures and a note that said “Draw that guitar in the corner” below this, in a different hand, is a simple “No.” I could almost feel the evil eye that Mom must have thrown his way, threatening him to pay attention or else.
A few pages later there is a review of the day listing the things that he felt good about or needed to work on. At the end of the entry is a section called Confess Your Sin where he asked God to forgive him for missing his mark again and talking bad about people….”especially the woman with bolt ons.”
Even in confession the smart ass couldn’t be serious.