Keeping a Journal

Journal from Peter Pauper Press
Last June I began to keep a journal. To date, my words and thoughts have consumed three booklets. Today, I started the fourth.
I began writing to reflect and find solutions and quickly discovered that my thoughts, written upon each line of each page, have provided me insight into my life. I have reached into the past, wished into the future, while distilling all of it in present time as I write and live my life. I have introduced my journals to books I'm reading, sometimes writing down important passages which are kept as  illumined treasures within quotation marks. Each day, no matter where I find myself, I allow my thoughts to travel from mind to hand to pen, draining my uncensored thoughts, feelings, and impressions onto each page. At this point, I venture out into the world wide web searching for an image of an ancient journal and, instead, discover a website introducing me to a 2010 documentary film, entitled, 1000 Journals. I incorporate this side trip, here.
Deciding to take this detour is similar to journal writing, where the pen twists and turns, loops over and under, dots an "i", crosses a "t", takes one thought and returns to another, describes a feeling or memory, finally completing the excursion either on one page or in another; a thought, perhaps completed in a future booklet.
While some journals display text, drawing and diagrams, mine contain writing only - descriptions of feelings, eternal ruminations of past encounters and fearful, non-existent, futures.
As I write, I never give thought to past journal keepers - the Japanese ladies who recorded their thoughts and dreams in the tenth century, or to those who walked the streets of Renaissance Florence by day while recording their thoughts in the evening at a beautifully carved wooden desk, or even James Cook as he set out to sea, recording the passage of each day.
Cook's Endeavour Journal, 1768-1771, National Library, Australia
Mostly, writing about thoughts and feelings in present time is enlightening. With each passing day and each entry, I understand that no challenge is too great to overcome. With time, patience and enthusiasm, the important things remain, while fears dissolve into illusive space.


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