Diary Burning: Horrible or Usual?

Andy is a friend of mine who everyone will never thought to be a diary keeper. The 37-year-old guy looks too sturdy and manly. His biceps have girth twice as mine. So is his visceral fat level. Though I take pride that both of us share the same muscle mass percentage. While I’m somewhere between the ‘lean’ and ‘thin’ spectrum, he is positioned at some point in the ‘stocky’ side.

He one day declared that he had managed to successfully let go of anything that he used to clench tightly. These past things were among other things a stack of diaries he wrote and thus treasured for all these years especially during his adolescence years.

“I burned them all down… I am now relieved. I let them go. These past memories. I used to keep them like my gold and silver bars inside my safe. But now that I know it’s no use to hold on to them, I shall move forward, make progress with my current life, and leave everything in the past behind. Hence, total relief,” he went into greater details.

I never took him as a diarist before and I got even more surprised to discover he had burned all of his diaries. What a waste of time and energy and dedication. As a diarist myself, I know too well how much it takes to write a diary entry every single day in your life.

A diary writing session is my very precious time slot in a day. I liked it, as that is just the right time to write about things I cannot write publicly. Things everyone else does not need to know or think or care about. I write it down for myself. Not even for posterity. Well, maybe. But for now, it’s all about myself.

So all that said, I’m questioning my own aim of keeping a diary.

My favorite living diarist David Sedaris was asked by his friend’s 7-year-old child and he wrote about it in one of his books “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” that I love and keep reading for many times.

He wrote like this in response to this question:”That is the question I’ve asked every day since September 5th, 1977. I’d known on September 4th that the following afternoon I’d start keeping a diary without it consuming me for the next 35 years and counting. It wasn’t something I’ve been putting off. Once I began, I knew that I had to keep doing it. I knew it well what I was writing is not a journal but an old-fashioned girlish keep-out-this-means-you! diary. Often the term I use interchangeably though I’ve never understood why. Both have the word “day” as their root but a journal in my opinion is a repository of ideas. Your brain on the page. A diary, by contrast, is your heart. As for journaling, a verb that cropped off around the same time as scrapbooking, that just means you’re spooky and have too much time in your hands.”

“Diary” is about feelings and “journal” is about ideas and thoughts. A journal is more intellectual, filled with worthwhile stuff. But a diary is a feminine form of expressive writing (am I being gender-biased?).

So why is burning down a diary deemed horrible?

Although a diary tends to contain pointless rants, fleeting moments of daily grinds, I still believe that any diary is worth keeping. Keeping a diary is never a regrettable thing for me. Even, it’s a good thing for my psyche. Everyone’s psyche!

And if keeping a diary is one thing you regret, why don’t you just donate or give that away to someone else? But just don’t burn it down in purpose.

I liken burning down a diary to burning down a book. What makes it even worse is the fact that you had spent so much time and energy in the past for it and suddenly for any reasons, you exterminate it with fire. I never condone such a thing. It’s like murdering your past self but that won’t happen because burning down the diaries won’t erase the sad and grey memories we had in life. (*/)

What's the Point in Receiving Something I'll Only Have to Send Back?

Says, or writes David Sedaris on page 45 of “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”. In the episode titled “A Friend in the Ghetto”, Sedaris tells us a man who calls him “mr. Sedriz”. But this wrong pronunciation and outlandish accent makes Sedaris stay in the conversation for the time longer than he expected. He admits he enjoys the phone conversation.

Isn’t it great to have a sales person like the unknown man on the phone? So pushy but he has got the power to make Sedaris miss him, having another pointless conversation with the man about the new cell phone offer that offers more cutting edge features like taking your own selfies in better resolution.

The man may not close a deal with Sedaris and sucks based on commercialism point of view but from the humanity point of view, he is someone to reckon with. He is a creature with personality Sedaris and others won’t easily forget. Not a mere non descript voice on the other end of the line.

Is that what Sedaris is trying to point out? That’s my best guess. Or maybe Sedaris feels so lonely and needs someone to talk to and with. Whoever it is doesn’t really matter.

My Book Crush: The Mundane yet Mindblowingly Successful Book "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls"

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Anyone has got his or her own crush, whether it be a guy crush, girl crush, coffee crush, shoes crush. Besides gadget crush, I’ve got this book crush, which is way more affordable than the aforementioned.

I can’t help myself hopping for joy upon getting “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”, one of the most anticipated books of David Sedaris at a bookstore I frequent. I like it too because of the color of the cover. Brown, chocolate, woody. And oh, my dad is also a diabetic.

I saw the book more than a month ago and kept seeing that displayed for weeks after since. And at last, the temptation conquered me. I couldn’t say no forever every time I saw it.

There’s nothing particularly extraordinary, or shocking, or curiosity arousing that one can get from the stories written in it. The stories have no traditional villains that possess super power to abuse like Magneto who can read anyone else’s mind, no ‘cool’ conflicts which any serious, earnest authors would never write without. Sedaris’ stories are so so so usual and ordinary. If I can compare, it’s like your own personal diary but Sedaris’ looks more than just sentences written for diaries. The words are meant to be told. There’s some interactiveness in the tone. Sedaris’ wrote it as if he wrote a personal letter to his own pen pal, which wroked so great. The way he writes just like the way he tells funny stories.

There’re 26 brief stories in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. One of the most interesting recounts is when he told the readers the sour relationship with his own biological father. I totally can relate to that. As a son with less-than-impressive physical ability, size and strength, I know how hurt it may get for a child to be compared with other kids who the father thinks are much better than his own offspring. Now every time people compare me to someone else, I shun these folks because they choke me to death mentally.

His jokes are witty and so selectively picked you won’t get offended. And of course I can sense a great deal of cynicism and sarcasm, two things a great author has to possess.