this is why i keep a journal

february 5. 2000

sighI read a lot of journals. Most of the time, what I read is the daily ruminations and updates of people that I have never emailed, spoken to, or met. Yet I've grown to care about these people, their families, their feelings and their life. And once in a while I read an entry that absolutely blows me away, and touches me in an amazing way. I read two such entries tonight, and I want to share them with you because they both really moved me.

Nova Notes, Al Schroeder's journal, which is beginning its fourth year, is probably one of the best journals on the web. In his February 4 entry, he talks about his feelings about losing a child. It was done so beautifully and eloquently, it brought me to tears.

The second entry that moved me was in Scott's journal, Erasing. His February 5 entry was more personal because the feelings he described closely paralleled what I wrote about in my January 28 entry, about mentally falling apart and not knowing why. It really struck a chord, as they say, because I could relate to what he was feeling.

This is why I keep a journal. Because I know someday someone is going to read something I wrote and feel something, and for a split second, or maybe longer, there will be a connection. A human connection. Online journals are not about feeding the writer's ego, or at least they shouldn't be. They should be used, I think, to reach out to people and establish a connection. These are ordinary people writing about their lives, but what makes them extraordinary is that, by doing it online, they are extending themselves to an unlimited and boundless audience.