Journal Entries After Grad School

Wild Woods Farm Barn Door

28 July 1981
Iowa City

Last night and this morning I read Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It has been some time since I last turned those pages, and with the facsimile first edition I have, I felt like the years had turned back.

It is a good book today and I think a large part of my own status is derived from or related to the past readings of this book. I can’t help but say amen to every line.

For what I perceive in Whitman is that life comes only by the individual’s bringing life to otherwise lifeless things. This is what I am about. Nice job Walt.

13 August 1981
Iowa City

First entry after beginning work. This is about right. Two weeks before I get started writing in my journal again. I guess I’m starting to get to where I can do other things besides work a job. I’m beginning to settle in. There’s a ways to go yet.

18 August 1981
Iowa City

The writers I read on writing say that the best time to write is in the morning when I first wake up. That’s not the way it will be. My writing will take place after a day of work in a job with lots of people contact, in a busy part of town, in close contact with a lot of other people, while I am engaged in a myriad of activities. I think all of this is the way it should be, a return to John Donne, perhaps, but a proper state of affairs. For we are always engaged in the world with others. We must be.

It’s time to look to the future. The first step is the publishing and distribution of Institutional Writings. I pick the books up tomorrow after work and will begin writing the passages for the receivers. As I approach thirty years, I make my commitment to life. To people. I consciously leave the past in the recesses of me memory to chart a course over unmarked territory. But I am not a pioneer, in a sense, I cannot be,for I join in my every action with all those who preceeded me. With the rest of humanity. In the most familiar terms, by those who share my culture. But these too are words that belong to the past. Here I go.

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