Shrimp and Gator Sausage

May 17, 2001

That was for dinner...

but that's not the point.

Somehow it seems fitting, that I am here in this hotel room, getting ready for tomorrow's work in the archives, that it is one who journals... who will be taking in the history of another who kept a journal.

I got to the library today after 2 flights in the cramped middle seat, struggling to work on my laptop. I am thinking that flying is less and less appealing each time I get on the big bird.

However, with 30 minutes to spare, I logged into the archive, pulled out the camera, and took a couple of test shots to check the lighting and resolution and all that good stuff...

She writes on the first page of the diary:

"It was once a puzzle to me, that busy people ever kept journals. I understand it now, the relief of the muzzled, the escape valve for those who can not, or dare not speak out. So I shall set up a journal, being only a rather lonely young girl, and finding myself in a very small and hated minority."

The curator also brought out two other sets of manuscripts by the diary writer, ones that I had no clue existed. I was told that I could only photograph the main diary, and for the rest of the manuscripts, I needed to just take notes. After all, the curator said, "We are not going to just let you have a copy of every single piece we have in the library on Ms. X."


But I could not believe what I saw in the other stacks of documents... all the data that would complete the story of the writer, from her early childhood, to her post civil war years.

And she wondered, on the last page, if she would write again.

"I shut the clasp again
and put aside the record
of bygone hours of pain."

Tomorrow I slide deeper into this project.

What a treasure.

I am so pleased.