A Form of Journal

This is a form of journal writing which I have used to document the texturing of both my daily thoughts and also how they intermingle with what I do on a daily basis.  If successful I should give an impression not of chronicling of what I do each day, but what I think and see of the world. Hopefully it would have provided a useful platform to gain ideas for my writing. They were daily writing exercises which I didn’t really have any intention of ever showing to people. This one is written in the same style as a lot of these older journals but I have cleaned up the grammar and punctuation for the purpose of the blog. I am now going to also apologize for any sense of self-importance or egotistical mood which I’m aware is present throughout the text, it is the unfortunate result of the arrogant mind which I have yet to level.
 
Clawing at the stagnant desaturation of the room, night tired eyes still adjusting to the day. The tip of my nose is chilled, the bed barely warm. I turn to see “The Harmony of Difference and Sameness” from which the great sage has intimately transmitted1 to me as I take my waking slow2. It is one of those shining examples of contradictory statements which cause the sagely world of mystical thought to have its humbling appeal. The poem has bent and formed many scholars since its creation. Poor seventh century Chinese Chan Buddhist who helped shape the Japanese school of Soto, who was a little known master during his own long life. Next to the chant is a wood carving of a Samurai General, with loose black shoulder length hair obscuring his face from the observer. He looks towards the death poem placed on the mat in front of him. A tando3 gripped in his right hand, the black sheath besides him, and a leopard-like Oni4 with thin darting yellow eyes sitting in the upper left of the print.  I do not know the name of the Samurai, but the carving is done by Yoshitoshi a master of different kind but whose efforts against the decadent modernisation of Japan have not gone unnoticed.
My mind has wandered to long. I must now commit to releasing myself from this sin of comfort. Frist off I must slowly rise off the pillow while kicking quilt until they are just covering my legs. After this there is a mental roll but I actually begin by standing and searching for my house coat. I may eat, but the one thing which always is done is the kettle is switched the moment subsequent to entering the kitchen.

Waiting for the bus there is always the hope that a group of kids who take the bus, will be late and miss it so more people can sit. It hasn’t happened yet. I like the mornings when it has rained throughout the night, the tones of the world get richer, the edges sharpened and become more alert.  From the edge of the bus shelter droplets fall then scatter-hop like a swarm of mites. The hiss of tires spinning on the wet road as the bus pulls up. The doors pull open and in a vulgar rush towards the door the kids push pass.
Then the bus journey and college happen, and how ever others and I feel towards these things is not the goal of this journal, it is not the breakdown of the “I for the other”5.
As I walk home it is always revitalizing despite weather conditions. Each step is made with intention, the unfolding of my thoughts are forthright. For in these moments each act and motion is there to negate the worries which build up throughout a day of social interaction. They also confirm what strengths there are to be learnt from others. On these walks of reflection the day of happenings becomes experience despite the slow learner I tend to be. On one walk I saw an elderly man, who smiled to himself, who swung his walking stick in front of him in a rhythmic pattern. He was walking at his own pace, that pace was truly his own and he did what he pleased with it. I on the other hand who is still young feel an urgency to go home, to begin things even if those things are yet undecided. But this man does not have this urgency in fact he most likely left home in earnestness because he has grasped something which belongs to him, his pace.
As I close the door behind me, generally the first thing which hits me is whatever odours are in the kitchen. Sometimes they are of the bin needing to be taken out, sometimes it’s the smell of breakfast or lunch, of cigarette smoke or citrusy cleaning products. Really the only days I notice nothing, I tend to move past the kitchen almost without taking any of it in. I prepare food which is frozen or the just add water sort of food. This is normally a highlight, because in the preparing it is me who is doing it, in the eating it is me who is eating what I myself prepared. It is a satisfying part of daily life. What makes it more so is there is no fear that somebody else won’t enjoy it, so all pressures of external judgment are removed. While eating I tend to either watch TV or read something. I like reading short poems because I can glance down while eating and try to figure them out.
The day continues with pacing and some confused thinking. These thoughts normally drift towards an ultimate of some kind and seeing myself in relationship to it. Two hours before bed I read and write something like this. The day comes to a close at twelve. 
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1. Drawn from “Sandokai” written by Shitou Xiqian(700-790), the translation referenced is from the online source www.sacred-texts.com               
2. Drawn from the poem “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke. Originally published 1953, in the collection of the same name published by Doubleday.
3. Samurai short sword used in ritual suicide.    
4. Japanese Demon, the origins of the word comes from to hid or conceal.


5. Philosophical term for a three part model of the psyche coined by the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin(1895 – 1975).

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