Journaling Our Lives and Our Souls
Then I spent a few days with my family in Parsonsburg, MD on the beautiful Delmarva peninsula. And then my sister, also a librarian, and I went to Baltimore for the Association of College and Research Libraries Annual Conference. It was fun on several levels.
I was really impressed by my sister’s sustained journal activities. She carries it around with her and draws and doodles in it as part of the process. She writes in it daily and during the day. She carries a pack of colored pens to enhance her journal. Even though she’s not a particularly religious or organized religion type spiritual person, this is a practice that enhances her creativity and gives her comfort, solace, and a place for private reflection.
I’ve kept various journals over the year, but never as a practice. One of the lessons in my tradition is to keep a journal for a period of time and I did that in a similar way as described above. It was fun and very comforting on a soul level. For the past four years or so, I’ve been very “religious” in keeping a journal of my shamanic journeys, coven activities, and meditations. But not a journal of my life.
Since we were right in downtown, we walked over to Barnes and Noble in Harborplace and got a journal. The next day at the keynote, I took some notes and doodled in my journal. I pulled out a highlighter [essential purse content] and started decorating. Suddenly, my sister reached over and put out her hand. She wanted to use it too! Sisterly bonding through doodling.
I must say, my sister and I haven’t shared a room since I was in Junior High and she was in elementary school. She’s a much better room-mate nowadays.
I’ve carried this journal with me. I’ve brought out pens, colored pencils, rubber stamps and other cool things to decorate. I picked up a couple of pictures at ACRL and I cut them out and pasted them in. It’s been helpful, fun and full of joy. And some grrrrrrrs. What is up with snow in April!!!
Last summer there was a workshop at Womongathering that taught this very skill. I didn’t take it but Rauncie and some others of the Rowdy Goddesses did and showed me their results. I was impressed. It was very cool and it stuck in my mind. And then I saw someone doing it as a sustainable and do-able practice.
I have to try very hard not to judge my entries harshly. it’s a curious process to be an audience and witness to your own thoughts and life. When you put your thoughts down and then know you are the only person reading it; it’s a very curious feeling. I can’t quite describe it so I will live with it for awhile. Probably like a pool of water, when the ripples still, I will be able to see my reflections more clearly.
May the pool of your life bring reflections of beauty and joy.
I hope you keep up the journaling. I have been doing it for about a year and a half on a consistent basis– its on my desk at work and I keep highlighters and Flairs nearby!– but I do want to tell you I was inspired by your book, ‘Sisters of the Dark Moon’! Soon after I read it, I started writing to you (!) about the moon phases. This practice soon fell by the wayside as I had little to talk about. Then, I found my musings and thought, you know, I should journal more! And decided to make it a doodley journal too! I started a new journal for my trip to Japan, recording observations, musings and moments I would have otherwise forgotten! I love reading old entries and discovering my ‘old self’! Love, your favorite sister!