For the past few days I’ve been busy sorting and cleaning. My journal writing has been sporadic since this is the busy season with book sales. I came across a sketch in a 1987 journal. My kids were ages 6 and 10. Life was routine. Everything was based around school schedules and summer breaks. We didn’t have computers back then-at least our family didn’t have them. Or cell phones.
Here is something to consider with your journal writing. Take time to discover color. Without going into a long treatise, color is healing. Color is a descriptor. Color is invigorating. Hues, shading, and blocks of primary colors can create mood and ambience. I suggest keeping a set of inexpensive markers at your desk or near your journal. Adding doodles and dashes in your writing brightens the appearance of your notebook.
Study landscape along with color. I have been a mountain dweller most of my adult life and even now, living in the desert, just the sight of peaks in the distance calms me-Lone Mountain, Black Mountain and Twin Peaks are nearby. Yet, it is flat and open around here. “There’s no place to hide in the desert,” said a friend. You’d be surprised. The desert is deceptive and you can get lost easily in it. The desert is sparkling, timeless, and magical.
Mountains are adventures with each dip and curve. Mountains represent the feminine, the earth’s shapes are like a woman’s body. The mountains nestle and protect us. Life has pinnacles and valleys-we have our ups and downs, our long open spaces and plateaus.
If you are a city dweller, you still have landscape. Neighborhoods, streets, avenues, parks, and highways make up daily life. Going underground to a subway, riding the bus or a train is symbolic in some way. Commuting or staying in place, the theme of travel is in many songs and poems-definitely it’s the highlight of great literature and modern writing, from The Odyssey to Cheryl Strayed’s inspirational memoir, Wild.
The journey and spiritual development are always linked.
I’m always surprised by noticing landmarks or buildings I’d forgotten about when I travel home to visit the places of my childhood. Just a suggestion for journaling: take time to notice how line, structure, color, landscape, and form are present in your life. So many treasures are ours to behold without a price tag.