Thursday, September 6, 2007

Diary Crime

Wow. I just read an article in The Independent about a Dutch woman who's diary was found in the jungles of Colombia by the Colombian Army. Fighting with the FarcMarxist rebels, alias "Eillen" was captured and is now "being held . . . and may face punishment, possibly death."

Eillen poured her thoughts into the pages of her diary - her frustrations, her passions, her hopes, her struggles, her fears... in Anais Nin's words, "we write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." We write for our own inner audience, for our children... for those who may one day find our journals. This is heartbreaking, though, as I am all too familiar with the solstice found in a diary, a paper friend, a trustworthy confidant; and to have those very pages exposed at such a time in one's life, or end thereof, possibly - breaks my heart.

Emily Dickinson did not want her dark poems to be published. After her death we read her "letter(s) to the world that never wrote to (her)." I'm struggling with this today, because I have always maintained we write for an audience and if we don't want our words read then we should destroy our writing. I never considered the consequences of having journals seized, and published while still living. It's this scenario I failed to consider. Eillen's entries can be found online. I feel it to be a courtesy to give her her privacy. I will not be reading her letter to the world.

No comments: