“Begin by making your own diary-books. Find some old books in a second-hand shop or a car boo sale, books with good covers and bindings. Pull out some pages and fill them with your own choice of paper. Disguise your diary inside old school textbooks, the ones that used to teach grammar. Virginia Woolf was appalled by her negligent grammar. But grammar was not the point. Practice writing with and without it. Allow yourself to move. Woolf galloped through sentences in her diary, in a haphazard way. ‘It loosens the ligaments,’ she said. Her diary was somewhere she could appear ‘slovenly’ and ‘elastic’. Not everything we jot down in our diaries needs to be carefully thought out. Put on baggy clothes. Relax your mental joints. No one but you is looking. Let your brain go loose and floppy. Let your hand lead the way. Get inside your body and find a rhythm. Bring your brain into contact with your breathing. Let go.”
20 January. As in the despairing hour of death you cannot meditate on right and wrong, so you cannot in the despairing hour of life. It is enough that the arrows fit exactly in the wounds that they have made.
Went to bed at 1. Attacked by bed bugs. Fought hard till 4, slaying thousands, but the number of the enemies increasing, resolved on a retreat. The sun had risen; began by taking the sheets, coverlid, and pillows out doors, beating and shaking them well; then stripped and changed my clothes, and laid me on the floor. Got a sound nap of five hours.
Private Journal of Aaron Burr. July 12th, 1809.
AKA Burr fights bedbugs, loses, and then proceeds to nap on the floor for 5 hours
5 February. The best resource is to meet everything as calmly as possible, to make yourself an inert mass, and, if you feel that you are carried away, not to let yourself be lured into taking a single unnecessary step, to stare at others with the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, to yield to the non-conscious that you believe far away while it is precisely what is burning you, with your own hand to throttle down whatever ghostly life remains in you, that is, to enlarge the final peace of the graveyard and let nothing survive save that.