The Private Life of the Diary

By Sally Bayley

From Pepys to Tweets: a history of the diary as an art form

Friday, 13 February 2015

Dreaming Through Things : A Drawing Diary

Virginia Woolf turned to her diary between the interval of 4 and 6pm; in February those hours are the hours of twilight, when the light begins to fade and the outlines of things in the world shift and alter.

My friend Rosie has been keeping a drawing journal because she says it draws her closer to things as they are. But I wonder if drawing also draws us closer to things as they are not. If you stare long enough at a  pineapple does it become a palm tree or a hat; a strange headdress? I stare at the pineapple and I see the bumpy back of a tortoise. I imagine touching its cold shell and feeling my way up towards the leaves.

My tortoise is now a tree.

Diaries are a place for free assocation. Inside the pages of our diaries we don't need to make sense for a while. We can daydream our way back to a more open and receptive form of being. We can see things as they are but also imagine them otherwise. We can alter our arrangements to reality for a while. We can touch the parts we want to touch and leave the rest behind.

This pineapple is now a hat.

Drawing by Rosie Tomey, aged 14 and a bit.

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