The blank page is my canvas. Each day is a new opportunity To show up for myself And be inspired As my words flow onto the page. It is creativity manifested As intangible thoughts and ideas Are alchemized Into tangible words I can see Taking shape onto the page From my own hand. To be shared or not The choice is always mine.
My inner songbird sings that which she cannot bring to light from the dark and all that can be marked. To be alive and free expressing all of the emotions in me. I do not know what I'll say until the moment in the day When the creative muse appears at the fore remembering her inspiring visits from before I long to express what's inside and to be safe in my stride. I want to feel ease and peace the joy and magic of release Those words that are meant to be said once I get them out of my head.
1- Blank smooth pages that drink up the ink. Smudges do not deter. Perfection has no place. Filled or empty, each page has a space and a place.
2- A clean slate. A beginning. A chance to start anew.
3- A Conduit. I connect to my inner wisdom, to inner truth, real or fiction, to my creativity, to you.
4- An alchemist. The notebook takes what is unreal and intangible and makes it real and tangible. My see my words take shape before my eyes.
5- The pages speak my story. My dreams. My words before they form full thought or belief. Just a spark before the utterance.
6- Patient. The notebook sits quietly on the bookshelf, on the desk or tucked inside my bag. Waiting for me. Never rushing or demanding.
7- Healing. Therapy on the page. For my eyes only as I grapple with, dissect, explore, express or create. It is mine alone.
My journals lead me, guide me, remind me, comfort me and show me. I’ve been keeping a journal since high school. They often lead me to the answer or solution. They lead me to insights. They guide me to the next steps to take or can serve as a gentle nudge. They can be a light in the dark; a map showing the easy and difficult terrain ahead; an exit to safe passage. My journals remind me of what I had forgotten.
They are a tool that is portable and accessible. I find the space to cope, hash out, dissect, examine, vent, relax, pause, slow down and breathe, and integrate: To be the observer of thought. My own words can comfort me during times of sickness, heartbreak, anguish, or confusion. It’s like a warm cup of tea or being wrapped up in a cozy blanket. I can enjoy and savor the moments.
My journals have showed me how much I’ve changed, my ever evolving inner and outer circumstances and how I dealt with various people, events and places. They serve as a still frame, a reflecting mirror, a magnifying glass as to who I was on month/day/year and what mattered to me then. Can I see how I got from there to here? The most important part of my journals is that it records my timeline and becomes tangible evidence of my life. My inner thoughts are brought onto the page for time immemorial; like a time capsule if I dare to look back.
In my teens they were one-subject notebooks. “Psychology,” “History,” “Oceanography” in large print on the cover. Who would want to look inside of that? Who would care to see my chicken scratch of quickly jotted notes? To their surprise it would not be. The subject on the cover was a ruse, a lie to cover up its true contents. A teenage girl who shared a room in a tiny apartment with five other family members does not have much privacy or space to call her own.
I discovered journaling could be the safety net I so desperately needed to deal with the trauma, the heartbreak, the teenage angst, the big questions, the fears, the boredom of not being able to go anywhere unless it was by foot or public transportation. Through journaling, I discovered my love of the written word. I tapped into that creative well and poetry began to appear on the page. It lit me up to hear my words rhythmically along the page. Instead of wallowing in despair and hurt or numbing myself with illicit substances, I went within. I found myself. I saved myself.
Now in my 40s I still turn to the blank page. These days I’m not looking for anything in particular to appear but the journals are more like creating an opening. I’m deliberately making creative space and taking the time to see what’s beneath the surface. What grain of salt or sparkling spec catches the light of my attention today. My notebooks lately have been simple composition notebooks that I slip on a pretty cloth cover.
I am the observer, the recorder of thought, and it will always be my refuge.