I found this lovely video and the music of Peder B. Helland this morning. . . .
As I listened I was inspired to write a poem The Places I Have Been and then further inspired to write about keeping a journal. My first diary was started on January 1, 1963. I'd just turned 12 a month before. I noted my resolutions: "go to church regularly; study real hard; be neat and pretty; act like a young lady; write in my diary every day." I don't know how many resolutions I kept because I quit writing in my diary on March 12th, except for one entry in May where I noted my uncle and aunt were planning to visit us.
|credit: Susan Branch|
Soon I will have 40 years of journals stored in my attic and I've been wondering what to do with them. They've come in handy when I've wanted to remember something in particular so I don't want to dispose of them just yet. I have no illusions about my sons wanting to read 40 x approximately 5 books a year = 200 notebooks of my scribblings! Perhaps if one of my grandchildren becomes interested in their father's growing up years or want to know more about us in our younger years, they'd want them. But honestly, where would all these books be stored in the meantime?!
I've used all sorts of notebooks including loose leaf paper, all sizes, all colors, with or without lines to record my thoughts. Whenever I see someone's book shelf lined with their journals, all uniformly lined up, I get a bit jealous of their forethought. Yet, I realize the way in which I have journaled has been a part of who I am--a bit all over the place, never settling into one way of doing anything.
I wanted to give you a peek at some of the journals of other people that I admire. Susan Branch's last 3 books have been based on her diaries. Having kept a diary most of her life she had all the material necessary to write her memoir. Here is another page from one of her diaries. She also keeps a Garden Journal. It's no wonder then that her art work has been added to all kinds of journals you can buy: Recipe, Baby, Grandmother, Daughter, Mother, Christmas, as well as a Daily Journal calendar.
I have kept a Garden Journal, as well, since I began gardening in 1992, but nothing like Dawn's at Petals Paper Simple Thymes. Hers are truly inspiring.
There is another type of journal I would love to be able to do and that is nature and travel journaling. This is one of my motivations to learn to draw. For the past 3 years most days I've been drawing a small picture at the beginning of each day's entry in my journal. Usually I copy an artist I love, such as this from Edith Holden's "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". . . .
|credit: Susan Branch|
Many famous people kept journals, such as Beatrix Potter's journal where she wrote in code; Henry David Thoreau's works; Leonardo DaVinci's Notebooks just to name a few.
Here are some links on journaling to inspire you:
- Six Ways Journaling Will Change Your Life
- Illustrated Journaling
- Books on Nature Journaling
- Videos on Journaling for Beginners
- Craftsy Class on Illustrated Nature Journaling
A wonderful way to get started is to use Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. It helps to discipline you to start writing what she calls Morning Pages.
I'd love to hear about why you journal, if you keep one. And if you don't, why not? Many people journal now in the form of a Blog, but as my son points out to me, blogs may not be permanent. I copy all my posts and store them on my computer, which is backed up on a separate disk just for that reason. That is one more thing that I will leave behind, but at least it doesn't take up much space.
If you have any advice about what to do about all my journals stored in my attic (short of renting a storage locker!), let me know. I've even thought about digging a hole (an awfully large one) and putting them in a plastic bin and burying them in our woods for some future generation to stumble upon. Wouldn't that be a fun find 100 years from now!