The first day of the last month of this nightly journal, and I’m thinking about the value of this exercise. Back in January, I’d planned to write each night about aesthetics, loss, and faith for one year and see where it took me. Instead, this journal has become a garbled catalogue of memories, ruminations, and each day’s insults. Maybe it’s a result of writing through a uniquely terrible year, but I have a sense this would have happened anyway.

I’d also hoped this ritual might help me reclaim my attention span and reckon with my anxieties about writing. It’s done some of this. After 336 nights, I’ve cut a new groove of writing for an hour at midnight. I’ve also come to appreciate pen and paper, the aesthetics of candlelight, and I’ve rediscovered many old tracks in my music collection. So it’s been fruitful for me, if not the reader.

There’s snow on the ground tonight, just enough to cover the grass, and I’m trying to savor it while it’s here. Feels like I haven’t seen proper snow in years. Strange that this was my biggest concern in January during those weeks in Finland when everyone was complaining about another black winter and phrases like “social distancing” were unknown.

Lately I’ve been listening to electronic music from twenty-five years ago, focusing on a specific neon-synth that sounds a little chintzy but gleams in a particular way. Autechre, Polygon Window, B12, etc. I struggle to separate my nostalgia from whether these songs are objectively fantastic. Probably a little of both. Perhaps there’s something to be said for parameters, the same few synthesizers being pushed beyond their limits in very different ways.

Autechre – Yulquen

Amber | Warp, 1994 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020 I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these times into my memory. Before the world changed completely.