January 20, 1983: The machines groan ‘midst mercury vapor cast shadows as I struggle through the cold, beat. Feeling the expanse of everything after Ivan Illych’s death. Wrapped up in thought forgetting people, yet lonely in weariness. Wrote two letters tdaoy. Tom Hoeft to leave CGA as the stock rises.
January 21, 1983: Nostalgia train. 1930 vintage. The train I used to take to Exxon. Taking it out to visit old Exxon buddy and go skiing. Very NJ. Proper upper middle class people talking tennis, college, hockey and who knows what else. And everyone is very good looking. I had dinner with Linda hence am romantic. She spoke of weirdness. So much was said indirectly. Cigarette ad with the more interesting character smoking a pipe. Setting broken down train. Characters: business man after long day, parents with children. College Kids. Freak.
January 22, 1983: Spent. A day of decadence, down the slopes, buying scotch. The rocking of the train, the full stomach, and the exhaustion. I sleep, letter from Andy. Writing is going good for him it seems. Scott with woman. My mind again on Linda. Tired, not much writing. I close my eyes and see the slope and recall my thoughts about how enjoyable and yet how foreign. Foreign as an affectation but not as an appreciation of nature.
January 17, 1983: Bunuel. Spice factory photos. Gas flames heat switches on a snow covered railway. Feeling ill. Cognac. Covering myself with ink.
January 18, 1983: Cold! Listening to a dinnertime drone of discussions. Thinking about individuality and companionship. What about making a soap into a Saturday morning cartoon? I haven’t read much recently. Could that be why this writing is so hard? Why not do something weird? Tie-die hair. Holistic Hippie, a sign of peaceful hope. I should meditate. Om.
January 19, 1983: Colder! Ivan Illych dieing from a fall hanging curtains. Julie looking back and wondering if the last four years were wasted and I’m read for the road. I am on the road now. And sometimes it seems like those hours spent waiting for rides are wasted. But that’s only if you want to get somewhere by sometime. If you’re just there for the traveling then you might as well enjoy the process. The age old struggle between being and striving to be. And with all these struggles, how does one relate to others? “I and Thou”? To much thought for one night.
The continued posts of journal entries that I wrote twenty-five years ago.
January 14, 1983: Weary. Resignation official. Wrote about NJ sunset. My eyes dance too much. On PATH trains, at movies. Saw Rocky III and Live On Sunset Strip (last minute substitutes for Paul Schrader.) Learn more about scotch. The light shines through the ‘Two’ of the Church House window.
January 15, 1983: A montage of memories. “You only have to do one thing well to make it in this world. You only have to be a good man to one woman one time and that’ll be the end of your road” As I prepare to talk with Linda about my road, and as I find myself trapped in a different set of sparkling eyes. I pave like an animal in a cage yearning to be free or perhaps trapped in “The age of gold.” Wanting to break through all the societal bullshit built in my psyche which prevents me from saying “I am a human being.” Why is it I tare for hours out of dirty windows?
January 16, 1983: Shades of Metamorphosis. I wake up to find a stranger in my bed; myself. At Clare’s discussing hackers. What about a hacker story? Off to Bunuel festival. Sold out at 6:20.
More updates from 25 years ago:
January 11, 1983: Charting the unexplored world of the mind. The maps used change the territory. Where roads are perceived to be, there thoughts will travel and roads appear even if none where there. Tolstoy, Dickens, work, church, politics, and this writing itself maps. Is one “Truer” than the other? I do not know, yet I feel the confusion of when these maps conflict. How far do I carry these solipsistic thoughts? Only until I know they lead away from the goal I aim at. And yet I know not that goal, let alone which path leads there.
January 12, 1983: My struggles with mental exploration continue as I listen to church folk songs, read letter from old college friends, and discussion the future of the prayer group. Rich made an interesting comment about my coming out of depression. Linda and I are to get together for dinner soon. New question: Do people/Will I get to the point where I stop struggling so much? Emotional exhaustion.
January 13, 1983: Chat with Scott – Philosophical Thoughts…
Smashes the flower
On her cannoli
With a fork
Transcending through writing. Haley’s comet rushes its inspiration. Train whistles doppler by. Peace.
Over the coming days, I’ll continue to post entries from my 1983 journal.
January 4, 1983: Kerouac. Smooth sounds flowing simply, incessantly through thought thriving on despair. Speech pathology, philology, alliteration prepare poets for pondering profundities. A student reveals to George Bryce the style of his writing. Computers and contemplation can confuse creativity. Looking over my last four days writings I can see how my mood, interactions with other people and art affect my writing. Today is another day not good for writing. Tomorrow.
January 5, 1983: Applied to Lucasfilm. Mary spoke at prayer group. Rich expressed concerns of the disappearance of Grace from our Theology. Nostalgia supper. Is art justifiable? How about the religious life? Singledom. Loneliness. Kerouac takes things as they come. Good night.
January 6, 1983: Epiphany. John found out yesterday that I’m leaving. Spent the day arranging that. Steve stopped over bringing his receiver. Listening to music. Music of freedom. Clove cigarettes and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Peace. I’m ready for the road. Politics re-awakening. I need to learn how to write of that peace that passes understanding. Peace which knows no matter what, freezing roads, and failing marches, everything works out. “Everything that dies someday comes back” / “We can’t go back, we can only look behind” Chatting with Fritz on his problems.
January 7, 1983: Listening to the stereo. A day of plotting career strategies. Thoughts about monks. I am overwhelmed with quietness this evening, a quietness that expands to the farthest corners of the rooms, or to the farthest corners of my perceived room. It is not a quiet of peace. It is a quiet of longing for what is to be and a longing to express this foreboding of these journeys and express experience of previous trips. “Pleasures of the harbor” memories of old trips hopes of new.