I love it and all, but Jeez I'm tired now. Lots of cooking things and pet time and singing. It's been fun. I suspect I'm mostly sleepy because I seem to be intent on reading ALL night. This is an error, even if the book is brilliant.
I found another old diary of mine the other day, one I'd forgotten I had. It's probably the darkest of all of them, from my last year at school. NOT a particularly happy time. Odd to read about Ellie and Katy and Angharad and Steve and the way we were. Things were already changing then, and I was doing self-destructive things. I read it all the way through (it's quite a short one). I've been reading through my other diaries a bit piecemeal. The ones from my earlier teens are less important. The ones from uni are long-winded. The one from my last year at school is concise and made me squirm because it is so direct and unfettered. I had to struggle to remember some of the events - they aren't things that come back to me with great ease.
I'm not sure why it was so unpleasant, really. Change had a lot to do with it. I'm not very good at change. There was the whole 'we've bought a house in Cornwall' thing, but that's a different story. But everyone was growing up, and where we'd all promised one another that things between us would never change, that we'd love one another for ever, things were already changing. Of course, we all made new friends and were fine, but I still slightly regret the loss of the four I mentioned in particular. One made a conscious effort to shed the friendship, one I found had drifted and two became so wrapped up in one another that there was no longer space for me. I don't begrudge the last two their happiness, but I did feel sad to lose them; I was upset that one didn't feel that our friendship was worth the effort of keeping (but this one I look back at differently in hindsight - if we had carried on being as close as we were, we would have reached a cracking point); I was and probably still am angry with the first one for the way she found it acceptable to behave (to herself, to me, to others). None of these feelings is all that intense anymore - I have new people around me who mean a lot - but they are not non-existent.
Maybe other people don't feel the desire I do to hold on to that kind of friendship in the same way. People who have known you a long time and been through a lot with you are important; they keep you grounded and they remind you that who you were is part of, and responsible for, who you are. They give you continuity - they prevent a fragmentation of self and a disintegration of history. I do have that, still, with a few people. Eleanor, mostly. She and I know so much about one another, about how the other one thinks and sees the world. Those ways are so different, and I'm pretty sure that we don't necessarily understand one another's point of view all the time, but we do know it. In some ways we're not close at all, but familiarity makes us so. I mean that, were we to meet one another now, I'm not sure we'd be drawn to one another in the way we were when we were 11. I think that's partly why there were patches of time at school where I avoided her (for which I'm sorry). I appreciate her now. At the beginning, we were the clever weird ones. Then I tried to join some sort of Popular clan, and things were weird. And then I got more used to my own skin, I guess.
Blah. This is the sort of reason I don't like this time of year - this kind of maudlin reflection creeps up on me. I think I'd do better without any sort of anniversaries (birthdays and New Year in particular), they always bring about too much dwelling on time and its passing, with which I am already too much obsessed.
I have half a sonnet written. In fact I have several half-sonnets written, but only one that I might finish. I like the structure of sonnets, because they provide an easy framework with which to force words into a tight linguistic structure, but I think this particular piece of writing would be better if I allowed myself to be a bit more free and was a bit more inventive with the versification. But that requires more thinking, or at least thinking of a different sort. Out of practice.