Friday, November 10, 2006

the time travel/ an exploration of a distant mind.

i have had the amazing experience of getting into someone's mind. reading private thoughts and exploring a whole new world and time. my whole life i have always wanted to read someone's journal. secretly wishing someone would leave there's behind on a table or desk so that i could see there thoughts, psychoanalyze them as best i could; find out who they are, who they think they are, experience where they are going.
maybe the bottom line is that i just wanted to feel normal. think that maybe my worst fears are there's as well. and we are all connected on some level. it never happened. no one ever left their journal. and even if i did find one i don't know if i would have had enough guts to read it, because i know how violated i would feel knowing someone read one of mine.
it is apart of me. i would feel violated, hurt, as if my words held no more weight. which always brought me to the question, what should i do with all the journals in my life. should i burn them? should i put them into a capsule that should not be opened for at least 100 years after my death (that way no one can see how human i really am).
while in houston the other day i stumbled into a used book store. it was much like any other used book store in that it had the decomposing paper smell, and an elderly man behind the counter. i found it odd that no music was playing in the background. maybe he liked it that way, music seems to be everywhere. but the man had a content look on his face staring into the near distance.
i wondered through the store, i had a bit of time to kill so i wondered through each and every section mentally taking notes as to what books in this building i would like in my library someday. i especially like books on travel to places i have never been, i love black and white photography books, because i end up cutting them up and taping them into my journal. history, science, math, psychology, they were all there. after about an hour of browsing i came upon a lone glass case. inside was one book, with no title, no author, no date. it was an ash grey and looked like the edges had been dragged on the concrete.
there was no key in the lock and my curiosity got the best of me. i asked the elderly man what was in the case, his curiosity was also peaked because he had no idea what the book was since his wife owned the store.
as he pulled out the book i noticed the plastic engagement was perfectly taped as if the book store owner knew this was some sort of treasure.
the man set it on the front counter and let me open it. as i began to open it up slowly i open realized the paper was flaking in certain areas and felt very fine and old. as i opened it to the first page the first thing i noticed was the beautiful calligraphy used. the ink would start very dark and as the words continued it would fade and then dark once again.
the opening line was a mistake, because he tried to cross it out.
"spring is my favorite season, as if the whole world is again coming alive."
what was this?
then the second page said
the diary of jonathan jones
december 23 1848.
i had found a treasure, and after an exchange of minimal currency (as compared to what i thought it would be worth) i was walking out of the used book store with thoughts, dates, and a distant time i myself could never physically experience, but was about to time travel to.
i have read almost half and can not tell you how my heart has raced more than once. he is an amazing man from north dublin (either in georgia or california) i am not certain yet. he writes every day of the week, moment, hour, & month in every entry. he is so very concerned with time. i am not going to say he loves death but he is so very intrigued. he believes in God ("thanks to the divine being for his infinite mercy and goodness") and his country. and his wife often gets sick. he claims he is poor but i don't believe he is, i think he runs a mill and hints to the fact he has hired several servants. there is so much more, i wish you could read it alongside of me.
i have stumbled into the past, and figured so much about the present state of humanity. though we may not have existed then our humanity sees no time, survival knows no distance, love & friendship surpasses what we have or will ever experience. of course we feel we know this, but i have never read the manuscript of thoughts. we can read history books but never have i read the thoughts behind the history.
i admire the strength of jonathan jones, he is an upright man who is concerned with more than just himself in life.
i wonder what others will read in my journal someday. will i be strong, or caring? or will i just testify that humanity does not see or feel time or space. i hope so.
what will others read about you one day?
-esteban

24 comments:

Kate said...

wow...what a treasure you found! something so old yet so timeless. i think this is one of my favourite modesty posts yet. i'm just amazed!

loveenduresall said...

A treasure indeed!! What a privilage to be able to read about someones life 158 years ago, that is almost like stepping into a time machine. How cool is that?!! I would love to read something like that one day. The journal couldnt of fallen into better hands, I think Mr. Jones would be pleased that you were reading about his life.

-A :)

bluemixed said...

Stephen, thats really great. It sounds so exciting to read enjoy it! not alot of people get that chance.

Hero's Cousin said...

i don't think i've ever been more fascinated by, or more jealous of, someone else's find. :) what a stunning masterpiece, out of time. i hope you will post more of what he said...i would love to read it all.

Peter said...

wow...that is amazing. that sounds so neat, i hope you enjoy it. if you find any interesting entries you should post them on here.

Anonymous said...

every journal kept is another journal burnt for me. i stopped writing in a journal because i don't feel it is a true depiction of myself - i miss it immensely. the ink spilling from my pen just can't match what is in my heart.

-just a girl

Kaila said...

Hmm that is strange a journal is in a book store for sale. Yet I would love to read someone's journal. You're are lucky. What's strange is how different I sound in my actual journal compared to y blogs, where everyone can see. I guess a lot of people try to hide they are human.

Anonymous said...

That would be really amazing to just stumble across something like that. That sounds like it would be so interesting, to get such an insight into somebody's life. That's just unbelievable that you were able to find such a thing. Thank you for sharing.

sum1 said...

"the ink spilling from my pen just can't match what is in my heart.
-just a girl" very true...
I don't think i could write a journal, i'd be to afraid that somebody would read it, so it'd all be lies anyway then; just more lies...

andrya said...

I hope you do share more of mr. jones' life on modesty. What an amazing treasure you happened upon. This gives me thoughts about keeping a journal in my own life! I have started dozens but never go for more than a couple days. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

We should all vote for Stephen on
http://www.myspace.com/impactawards
For all he has done in Haiti, India, Modesty, and being such a positive roll model!
-Neil

Alice-Bo-Balice said...

A very interesting entry.
I love going to bookstores like that and finding old books.
I hope that you share more about this treasure you've found. I would enjoy hearing more about Mr.Jones.

-Alice

Lil Renny said...

I too have always had the fear that if someone read my journal then a piece of me would somehow be torn out and destroyed. However, the respect and dignity with which you have treated this man's journal teaches that a very important part of humanity is giving others a chance. Bless the journey that journal went on to get into your hands.

kp said...

They will read that I am in love.

I am writing a journal to leave somewhere some day. It is not necessarily about me. But then again... of course it is. It is a very well shaped little black book. The size of a comfortable bible. If you ever see one, consider picking it up.

Thank you.

Kylie

Anonymous said...

I read my mom's diary once. It was hidden away in our attic, and it caught my eye. It was from when she was a little girl, and it was heartbreaking. She still doesn't know that I've read it.

I love people. I love to imagine what they must have been like. Mary Molteno is buried in St. Martin's in the Fields in London. I saw her gravestone etched into the floor. I fell in love with her. I don't know who she is or what she did, but I'll never forget her.

-Sasha

Meg-a-roni said...

That's fantastic that you were able to really get into the mind of another person. I too have always wanted to read the thoughts of someone else, especially a grandparent or parent of mine (maybe to feel as though I can relate to them more).

I believe if someone where to read my journal, they would see that I too am very human and go through the many struggles and horrible thoughts that others go through. I think my life would represent a life of adventure (travelling to many countries), and one of loneliness (except for God) at times and love/friendship at other times.

brett said...

that is so awesome. what an opportunity

Anonymous said...

i actually saw a diary played out on stage friday night. i went to a performance of the diary of anne frank. to think - the diary of one young girl making such an impact years beyond her existance. maybe that's why you write; maybe that's why i write - for the hope that we might contribute something of significance before our time here is done.

talk to you soon?
can i simply say this is from marie?
~katrina marie ;)

Anonymous said...

wow, i was up last night unable to sleep because i thought that my mom had maybe stumbled upon my journal..... it got me thinking about maybe getting rid of it, and then i thought about how liberating it would feel to burn it or destroy it in some way....but i dont know that i could bring myself to do it.... i mean it would feel nice maybe, but why destroy your past...???? my future is better today because of what i have lived through in the past, i dont know that i want to forget that, i dont want to forget who i am or the struggle it was at times, to get where i am today....struggle and hardships can be healthy, and its important to reflect on them, i think it in some way gives you a reason to appreciate life ...... i too feel like my writings are a part of me, they are sometimes my escape and my foundation, and even a way to express my true feelings and desires in a way i couldnt always express to just anyone.... thats sooo awesome that you could read that journal its like you are sharing a part of his life :)

www.myspace.com/iloveanberlin

Anonymous said...

wow, i was up last night unable to sleep because i thought that my mom had maybe stumbled upon my journal..... it got me thinking about maybe getting rid of it, and then i thought about how liberating it would feel to burn it or destroy it in some way....but i dont know that i could bring myself to do it.... i mean it would feel nice maybe, but why destroy your past...???? my future is better today because of what i have lived through in the past, i dont know that i want to forget that, i dont want to forget who i am or the struggle it was at times, to get where i am today....struggle and hardships can be healthy, and its important to reflect on them, i think it in some way gives you a reason to appreciate life ...... i too feel like my writings are a part of me, they are sometimes my escape and my foundation, and even a way to express my true feelings and desires in a way i couldnt always express to just anyone.... thats sooo awesome that you could read that journal its like you are sharing a part of his life :)

www.myspace.com/iloveanberlin

Charlieee said...

very intresting story

Brightest said...

i think that it's fate that you found that journal. i think that it was meant for you to read, because you appreciate it, really what are the odds of that?

there's a reason you found it.

Caryn said...

my heart was racing as you climaxed to the opening of this treasure! i also long to hear people's thoughts, to know what they are thinking. probably think about it way too much. ok, God bless!

leoland said...

funny you wrote this and asked about what other people would think of your stuff in the future... haha well it's the future now... and here i am reading... hopefully it's not too creepy...