the ongoing poem

I'm pretty sure 2 weeks is the equivalent of 200 years in BlogLand.  Oops. 

Sooooo, where've I been?  What've I been doing? 

Short answer:  ALL THE THINGS.

Sleeping and eating and going on jogs and planning parties and attending parties and writing but not enough and working and catching up with friends and accidentally on purpose ignoring twitter and answering emails and getting rained on and preemptively buying new winter coats... things have been busy.

I've been doing this thing for the past month where instead of keeping a journal (which I have tried and failed to keep up on numerous occasions) I just make a brief list of every important thing I did during the day each night before I go to bed.  It's not detailed, at all, though sometimes I add little pictures or commentary. 

At first it felt like a cop out - if I'm going to bother keeping a record of what I'm doing, shouldn't I at least take the time to write out more than the barest minimum?  Am I really going to care that I "Was late to work (train late, someone jumped on tracks?) / Morning break with the crew, talked politics - eesh / Long day, worked late / Pandhandler on train got "Sweet Home Alabama" stuck in my head / Home to write and finally got my characters out of that tree / S cooked dinner, I burned the bread of course / Actually to bed at a decent hour"?

Turns out, yeah.  That's a pretty boring example (that I made up off the top of my head, ha) but what I'm finding I love about this way of keeping track of my time is that it distills my day down into little snapshots.  What were the most memorable things that happened today?  Often the things that come to mind aren't what I'd expect - little moments with strangers jump out at me, or small things someone said in passing seem to stick.  Sometimes it actually takes me a few minutes to remember so-called "big, important" things.  (Ahhh, perspective, there you are.)

So instead of a 3-page journal entry analyzing every minute detail of every day (which I know I won't keep up anyway - it's just too much!), I end up with something more like an ongoing poem of my time.  I also like this way of keeping track because I find myself looking for the small moments, now - not inventing them so much as finally noticing them for what they are.

So, that's where I've been.  Working on the poem. 

And you?  What have I missed?


  1. I'm one of your first 10 followers! So cool.

    Nice to meet you, Jessica.

  2. Aww, thanks Matt! I have your feed on my Google Reader so I always keep up, but just realized that I wasn't actually following you - so I fixed that! :) Nice to meet you too, officially. I really enjoy your blog!

  3. Hey, I made it into the Top 10, too.

    And yeah, journals are great for working issues out, but during my college days in Boston I'd simply jot the day's events on a calendar, and that tiny square kept it to a minimum, so they're like tiny haikus of my days. A few unique snapshots instead of a whole documentary.

  4. Top Ten FTW! (I feel like I should make you guys t-shirts or something.) :)

    Haikus of your days - such a cool image. I am finding this way of "journaling" both easier to keep up and more fun to look through later, because as you said, it leaves you with these little colorful snapshots that you can turn over in your mind. When everything is distilled down you can cover a lot more ground, and things really jump out at you later...

    PS - love the Thoreau quote in your profile!