Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Reflections on a Blank Book

Yow. And then there are the things you come across in packing that you had long, long forgotten about.

There's a little book, you see -- a black-covered blank book with red corners. I think I bought it when I was about 14, for Creative Writing. That's the first item in the book -- a really dreadful pair of chapters of fantasy, clearly written shortly after I had discovered Michael Moorcock and still had Elric on the brain. It's a little painful, but hey, I was young.

It gets much more interesting afterwards, though, because it turns into my on-again-off-again diary. Before LJ came along, I was never good at keeping a journal -- I'd write an entry or three, then forget about it for years. The result is sort of like a movie of myself growing up, played at fast-forward.

There's the section from April 1982. I was 17, and just coming into INTJitude. These entries are very resolution-focused, telling myself what I need to do to start being someone I can respect. Resolving to lose weight (and my heavens, from the things I am forbidding myself there, no *wonder* I was fat), to have more courage of my convictions, to have more discipline about homework -- it's very much me building up the person I would become.

Then it skips a year, to the days just before and after our Madrigal group traveled to DC, senior year. For reasons I don't fully understand, trips to Washington loom large in my youth -- there were four or five of them, and each one was a major psychological milestone for one reason or another. This trip was the first time I'd ever spent serious time close to the two girls I had mammoth crushes on throughout high school, and I managed to get all of my illusions completely shattered. It's fascinating to compare the entries. The "before" is pure, painful adolescent angst, reminiscent of the worst afterschool specials. The "after" is me finally owning up to my own emotions, and deciding to stop being an ass. It remains perhaps the most important turning-point in my life.

Then *bang*, we jump forward eight years to 1991. The next entry starts out as reflections on the previous one, a recurring pattern. Mostly, though, it is the very first glimmerings of the Mysteries project. The idea was still very loosely formed, more a set of principles than anything else, but the broad strokes were already there: the notion that the world could really use a decent successor to Freemasonry. At the time, I had latched onto Arthurian legend as the central mythology for the organization. Much of the entry discusses the pros and cons of that concept. (Especially the near-total lack of good female role models.) But many of the underlying precepts were already there, and haven't changed much since then.

It's disconcerting to realize that the idea of the Mysteries has been lurking at the back of my brain for almost 15 years now -- the implication is that I *have* to do something about it, or I'm going to be perpetually dissatisfied. That's perhaps the single most important reason for me to finish TRIII: it's the project that is letting me procrastinate about the more important one, and I need to clear that plate.

And that's it so far. Probably sometime I'll write another entry, when I find that I must. Though each time claims to be the start of a diary, in reality it is a series of essential private moments: the points at which I reflect on myself and where I'm going. In the end, it may prove to be my synopsis...

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