Thursday, September 20, 2012

A New Journal

I started a new journal this week.  I am always excited by the prospect of starting out fresh again in a new one--blank pages to fill with the scribbled notes that are the odds and ends of my life.  I also always feel just the slightest pressure to make that first page a good one.  Its the first page after all.  Its not to be wasted! 

I don't keep a dairy in, what I consider, the tradtional sense.  I don't write every day.  I don't write what I did during the day.  Its much more random and piecemeal than that.  I like the idea of the traditional daily log, but I have just never managed to keep it up long term.  Spontaneous, as-needed journaling suits my personality much better.

I jot down passages I like from books. 
Or figures and stats I find interesting or astonishing. 
Or quotes and funny things Matt says that I want to remember.  
There are lists of things to be done--that frequently pops up in my journals.
And poems that I write--though I am not so prolific a poet as I was at one time. 
I tape in bits of this or that that I want to keep as a memento--things such as handwritten notes from my dad or drawings from my niece or particularly beautiful, red, autumn leaves.
I scribble in phone numbers and birthdays and other important events and numbers.
I compose essays on my thoughts--most frequently on the simple joy and pleasures of life found all around me, especially in nature.

Whenever I finish a journal I spend time reading back through it, usually reading the highlights aloud to Matt.  Much like the Year-In-Photos project this revisiting of the past months is quite enjoyable for me.  It reminds me of all the fun I've had, the various books read, the subjects researched, the hikes taken, the sunsets watched, the joy of my days.

Its is always such a delightful mixed bag of things that it makes me smile to re-read....this last journal contained everything from statistics on botulism in the US (the topic came up because of canning) to a 50-Things-To-Do-Before-I-Die list (which was actually made back in college) to birdwatching lists (I used to keep a separate journal for that, but it fell by the wayside) to random statement like "Watching 100+ crows slowly trickling across the sky is both amazing and creepy.  One of these days I am going to follow them and learn where they go," or "I love:  Matt, badgers, mountains, the smell of damp pine, fields of sagebrush, birds, sunshine, misty mornings." 

Its a good lot of mixed ideas, lists, and happenings and creates a great picture of all the small and large things that fill my days.

9 comments:

  1. Oh I agree a journal is a must..not the old diary type under lock and key..everyday random this and that's is best..the things that never make a good blog post but are oh so important...~~HUGS~~

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    1. That is totally what it is that get jotted down, isn't it. The little random tidbits that fill in the edges of all the big things we do that might actually make in on the blog.

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  2. Watch your mailbox..., goodies coming your way.

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  3. My neighbor who died at 94 kept a journal every day with things like you have, but with a record of where she went, who she saw, from whom she got a letter, bits of news, who had a baby, the name, all sorts of innocuous tidbits, things that made her life. She kept these for at least 25 years, starting a new one each year. When she died, her daughter said she burned them because that "stuff was no one's business." I wanted to cry. Tell Matt not to burn your journals! Well, unless you want him to.

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    1. Ever since I was a little girl, and kept a journal even then, I wondered what would happen to it when I died. In fact over the years I've destroyed a few journals, or at least ripped out pages, because of this. (I didn't want anyone to read my melodramatic love poems for the neighbor boy, etc) I've realized though that I don't write anything I'd be ashamed for the world to know. So I don't destroy them any more.

      Your neighbor's history would have been an interesting read I bet. Maybe it would have been too hard on her daughter to read it. I should think it would have been a treasure to her though, but grief does things we can't explain sometimes.

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  4. I love journaling, too. Sometimes things said in blog posts pique my interest and I write a long essay for my eyes only about personal thoughts and opinions about the topic. I put lots of quotes from books read. Magazine pictures, random articles. I find it a wonderful way to untangle particularly thorny or emotional processes. :)

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    1. Writing has always been therapeutic for me in that way. Writing it all out seems to clear my mind while just thinking it all out seems to muddle it further.

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  5. my journals are such a mix---of knitting patterns!!!, book titles, random thoughts, notes on how-to's (like how to get that elusive ravelry link on my website!!!); I feel I need a bit of structure to make them really 'a journal'---and not just a random notebook!!!

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    1. Oh I know that! I've sure tried to struggle against the Random Notebook Syndrome. : ) I never succeed for long though so I guess I have just learned to embrace it. I can be scattered and random....maybe that is just the unavoidable destiny of my journaling, too!

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!