Archive for August, 2011

The Name’s the Thing

August 14, 2011

I have been asked recently about the name of the diary archive.  Since it does not officially exist I can still change the name.

There is disagreement and confusion over whether ” journal” or “diary” is more accurate or inclusive.  I like to call my books “journals” as they are not merely records of daily activities, but this archive would be for all forms of self-recording, from journals to diaries to travel logs to letters.  We might include taped diaries – say those on cassette or reel to reel tapes.   I have quite a bit of all these various forms from my own family…going back over 100 years.

One of my readers keeps transposing letters – diary to dairy.  I admit I do the same.  Still, I think a “diary” archive sounds best.  I am loathe to name it for my unsupportive city.  Besides, to think we might some day have more than one archive is too much to hope for.

An alternative name is the “Anam Cara Diary Archive.”  (Pronounced Ah num car uh.) I stole this idea from a John O’ Donohue  interview.  He wrote a book by this title.  In Gaelic your “anam cara” is your soul friend, someone to whom you confess.  This sounds to me like the perfect name for a diary archive, yet who knows Gaelic?

A while back I thought I read that a non-profit could not be called “national.”  That may not be true.

In any case, the archive really has no name yet, but I strongly support having “diary archive” in the title.  I am open to all suggestions and will settle on a name when it becomes a non-profit.











A Somewhat Personal Update

August 14, 2011

Earlier this week I wrote: I am sitting on a bench in my private space under the arching branches of the New Mexican elder.    On either side of me – a cat.  One, my own Maine Coon giant, and the other, my neighbor’s cat who has decided he wants to live here in this cat and wildlife sanctuary.  I am almost hidden by the blue salvia, which is joyously alive with honeybees and butterflies.  To the north I see the fading yellow blooms of the goldenraintree which stands as a sentinel before the jungle of the creek area.  The east is dominated by my neighbor’s towering cottonwood rustling in the slight breeze.  To the south I can hear the invasive cacophony of traffic.  Behind me to the west, the chickens are purring.  It is in the 90s.  I am in the shade.  All around me I hear bird song and thunder.  The storm is going to miss us.  Today I have been pondering the mysteries of life and death, as diarists enjoy doing.  I have been pondering my own uncertain future.  How much time do I have? What can be done?  Am I totally nuts to open a bookstore again in this age where “the book” is dying?  And more to the purpose of this blog: how can I use the bookstore to advance the National Diary Archive?

In March I began 33 days of radiation therapy for a liposarcoma.  By May I was jumping right into work on the farm: collecting bee swarms, growing a huge garden, mowing lawns, watering, weeding, overseeing the help that I had to have this past year.  The entire farm is being painted this summer…a red barn at last!  Not to mention all the preliminary negotiations on opening a bookstore.  Have I given up on the archive? No.  Just put it aside for a while.

Here is the current plan:  I am soon to be moving my in-home bookstore of 12,000 books to an actual retail location.  As soon as it is open I will begin regular journal workshops.  I am considering paying a lawyer $750 to create a non-profit organization.  I will search for a volunteer staff and archivists.  I will then solicit donations and attempt to build this organization.  “If you build it they will come.”




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