I’m doing a research paper on the Mormon pioneer trail, and it’s slowly bringing me to a realization of the importance of journaling. More importantly, it’s bringing me to a stark realization of the importance of interesting journaling. I mean, seriously – listen to this entry by Thomas Bullock:
“Several swallows seen—Dr. Richards found the leg bone of “a Mammoth”—two Sioux Indians ride into Camp & fed—frogs sing[.]”*
Really? Your entire day is summed up in four phrases. And sandwiched in between swallows and frogs, you just feel like mentioning – just throwing out there – that you met two Sioux Indians and found a mammoth bone. Really? For crying out loud, Thomas! I eat a good bagel and give it a couple paragraphs, just so you know I’m excited! You find a woolly mammoth fossil, and throw it in there just after “several swallows seen?!” Get some enthusiasm into it!
But then I think of my own journal, and realize I should probably give Thomas a break. My journal has few entries in it, and the ones that exist aren’t very interesting. No; I’d far rather blog about bagels and cleaning the refrigerator. So which is worse? Writing about awesome things (i.e. mammoth bones) in a mundane way, or writing about mundane things (i.e. pizza bagels) as though they were flat-out miraculous? If I continue on in this pattern, will I lose the sense of wonder in things that are actually wonderful? If I freak out at a clean fridge, does that somehow detract from the moment I someday walk into my very own home? Or will I just pass out at the sheer magnitude of it all?
And so, I am left to criticize the minimalistic writing of Mr. Bullock, and to wonder whether my own enthusiasm will one day numb me to life altogether.
Having reached no real conclusions, I here include a picture of a mammoth:
*Bullock, Thomas, Correspondence, 1836-1857. – http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/source/1,18016,4976-4397,00.html