Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading Old Journals, and Gerald Durrell

Lately I've been reading two things:

1) My journals from 1975, when I was in my mid teens. Oh my! Good for some belly laughs, for sure, as I lie propped up in my bed and Scott surely wonders, from the other room, what is so darn funny. Then there are some of the serious themes, like being disappointed in people, and self-exploration, that I now see were challenges even then, as they continue to be. At 15 I didn't think much of astrology or marriage as an institution, and I tried meditation for the first time. Now, some 40 years later, I have a lot more respect for astrology and even less for marriage, and I'm still meditating. As a matter of fact, the other day in a meditation my "Intellectual Self" (which appears as a character in an imagined scene) told me I have an "Irish intellect." I have no clue what that means, but it was related to my ancestry, and since there is likely some Irish back there somewhere perhaps that's the intellect gene I got? It's a mystery.

2) Gerald Durrell's book about his trip to Argentina to collect animals for a zoo. Great stuff — humorous and descriptive in an anthropomorphizing sort of way, as he describes the behaviour of elephant seals and fur seals, for instance, that he observes. Not to mention the habits of his Argentinian hosts and guides. I've also read an earlier book about growing up with his family, a wild and entertaining bunch: My Family and Other Animals. I recommend them both.


  1. Irish intellect eh?
    How do you confuse an Irishman?
    Put two shovels against a wall and tell him to take his pick.
    Now do you get Irish intellect? LOL.

  2. I love that you still have and read all of your old journals! One of my friends goes through these phases where she throws out of all her old diaries/journals. I clutch my chest every time she does that! I could never toss all of my old written memories. No matter how embarrassing or painful to read they might be.

    Also -- we both used "anthropomorphic" in our blogs today. Pretty weird!

  3. I've been thinking about having a bonfire after I go through them. They do take up a lot of space. But then I remind myself how thrilled I am simply by having my great-grandmother's scrapbook in my possession. Imagine a lifetime of journals! What a treasure our family would have had! Sure a lot of it isn't interesting to read; but it's enlightening nevertheless. For instance, I thought my youngest son was a bit of a drama queen. Where did he get that from, I wondered? Till I read a letter I wrote at age 16 or 17; and now, when I look back into that particular year I see he comes by it honestly ... and will grow out of it, as I like to believe I have. Ha!
    Anyway I unpacked them all and put them where they've visible and handy, planning to mine them for writing ideas. And chuckles.


Leave a message here or email me at, home of the snow and land of the wheat!