Sunday, 29 December 2013

On putting away this year's diary

A year. Well, yes, of course, it’s an artificial construct – a convenient fiction for punctuating time – but then how else to locate what’s been done (or not done), what’s happened (or hasn’t)? On Wednesday, I will put my 2013 diary up on the shelf, alongside diaries from each of the last ten years or so. It contains no great insights, no confessions, no revelations. It’s just a diary with meetings, deadlines, reminders to send someone an email. I doubt that anyone, least of all me, will look at it again. On the face of it, in fact, it’s exactly the same as all the diaries from previous years that it’s destined to sit beside on the shelf. At this moment, however, as the last few days of 2013 tumble into place, I can’t help wishing that, for all the other pieces of writing, the photographs, the comments and conversations stored or alluded to elsewhere, there were other ways in which the events of this year could be preserved, could be revisitable. This isn’t, I hope, just sentiment, nostalgia for the all too recent past. Maybe, on one level, that’s what wanting to be in the writing game is about – turning the past into things, into objects, which can be repeatedly revisited, reviewed. I wonder, though, at the end of this year, whether it might not be about something else entirely. 

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