"Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and altered slightly to make a single document..."To redact" later came to be used in the sense of selecting from or adapting (as by obscuring or removing sensitive information) a document prior to publication or release. In the early twenty-first century it has become a euphemism meaning "conceal from unauthorized view; censor but do not destroy"... From Wikipedia page on redaction.
Redacted | Chapter 1: Frozen -- The Last Journal
Writing about love, work, friends, regrets, fears, joys, future plans. Typical. For nearly twenty years, from high school until a few months before my daughter was born, I wrote about these things. That it ends abruptly in March of 1996 is both shocking (the final word, "later", is evidence that I never anticipated it would be THE LAST) and yet expected (what did I think, that I'd have time or interest in self indulgent writing when I had babies?) The journals -- over a dozen, plain, black, bound books -- still sit on a shelf. Moved from house to house to house to house.
In recent years, I've wondered what my children would think were they to read the entries from my twenties. I even took those volumes and tied them up with some old, yellow, macrame string and left a note requesting that they be destroyed, unread, should something happen to me. Recently, as I've lost friends and family to cancer and age, it has seemed like less of a "what if" and more of a "when".
Last year, a month after my mom died, I vowed to simply get rid of them all peremptorily. But when I pulled them down off the shelf, I decided to read them one last time and I couldn't do it. With some grit and release, I managed to tear out a single, random page (Wednesday 3/27/91) to use as the subject of my annual ice project. A few photos from the 2013 ice project are here and in the slide show, below.
A full year after my mother's death, I find myself coming out of the murkiness of losing a parent. In that year, I've spent a lot of time thinking about our accumulated stories; what gets passed on to future generations, what is lost, what is remembered, what never was really true.
"Redacted" comes out of all of this. I will take the stack of black bound journals off of the shelf, untie the yellow macrame string, tear out the pages and let go. "Redacted" will document the process, revealing what needs to be revealed, obscuring what must remain hidden.
An inquiry into what we choose to reveal and hide from the past.