Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Journal

When I was in high school, a fabulous English teacher somehow got me to go to a writer's conference on the campus of UPenn in Philadelphia. I think I was 16. I started my first official journal in the spiral bound Penn notebook they gave us, while my dad drove me home.

By the time I graduated from college I had more than 100 journals of all shapes and sizes.

I used to number them in the corner, every new one got a number on the inside cover. I stopped this process and I wish I hadn't. It made it easier to put them in order and easier to label exactly how prolific I'd been.

I kept pretty detailed journals during my pregnancy. That changed with the birth of my daughter. Then I journaled when I could, but no longer with the intensity or the frequency that I used to. It got to the point, and this was recently, that my journal entries would be a weekly affair instead of the breaking news format I used to follow.

With some of my recent health issues, I thought I needed to return to as-needed journaling. I wanted to record everything I'm thinking and feeling in order to connect or perhaps disconnect my physical and emotional problems.

I have done this for about three weeks. Maybe four. I'm worrying that these entries are clinical, full of my rants and fears, and make me look like a basket-case. But then I see a glimpse of the old me, and the old journals, with hastily scribbled items like this:

How many thaws from frigid winters
until a heart can no longer be reached
with the frayed and weakening stems
of dandelions held by the tiny hands
of strangers' children?

And I do think that journaling has redirected my attention from social media and also put me more at peace. Now, if only I could make the time to resume my bicycle rides and do some yoga, I might regain some real peace of mind.

1 comment:

  1. I love your words, Angel;) Personally, I find that journaling brings out a brave and more prolific voice in my fiction. I can't live without it. It offers a greater adrenaline than even the more guarded version - blogging.

    You're awesome:)