Monday, May 21, 2012

Inspiration for the Write Journal

Last year, a friend gave me two delightfully girly gifts.  Nail polish for one.  As a present from one mature gal to another, I did not miss the irony of the name of the shade.  Forever Yummy!  It is shocking fuchsia red.  I could be wrong about the colour.  (Remember the blog, My Cones are not Write, from March 19th?) 
The other gift was a thick little notebook.  A glossy metallic pink cover adorned with a huge heart-shaped stone surrounded by itsy little stones.  Let’s call them diamonds.  The edges of the paper are shiny silver.  With the book closed and the pink chiffon ribbons tied in a bow, everything shimmers.  I stroked the iridescent cover and the multi-faceted stone.  Then I set the book aside.  Unsure.
Journals have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Each time I finished a book, I would tuck it away before beginning another.  Not always in the same place.  Could be a dresser drawer, a shelf in the closet, or the great old leather trunk.  Periodically, I would come across a journal that could be months or years old.  Of course, I would always take a moment –sometimes hours−to scan through the pages.  Not all the memories were good. 
Actually, a few years ago I destroyed many of my journals.  Memories I didn’t want to come across again.  Before shredding them, I dutifully recorded the entries about my son from the time he was a baby right into his late teens.  Some happenings I barely remembered, and others I would never forget.  I passed those excerpts along to him for his amusement.
Often when skimming the blue lined pages of long-ago, the individual in the journal seemed like a stranger.  I wondered how many transitions the average person realizes in a lifetime.  My schedule was frenzied for so many years that it made me breathless reading about it.  Was that really me?  Honestly, if I had to do those things today, my heart would be hammering.
I like to think that everything we experience in our lifetime is part of this great plan.  Everything we learn we will use; if not now, then thirty years from now. 
Did my journey as a writer begin with my diaries all those years ago?  Was it self-preservation or merely self-expression?  Then, of course, writing is self-expression.  Even fiction writers reveal more of themselves than they realize.  Ooh, when I think of the horrid circumstances in the book I am working on now, I shudder to suppose what part of me I am revealing. 
Bearing in mind the writings from my years of journaling, I decided to record only happy thoughts in my luxurious new diary.  Very wise!  Now when I skim through the book, each page brings back beautiful thoughts and memories.  There are a lot of exclamation marks, celebrations and hearts, the names of dear friends, x’s and o’s, and accomplishments, however small. 
Some days I jot down a single word or phrase that gives me a feel-good glow: the smell of lemons, fresh laundry, Sophie’s hair.  The feel of soft towels, a child’s arms around my neck, a visit with a friend.  The sound of Tiki’s purr, Sadie’s laugh, and whispers in the night.
If you don’t have an inspirational journal, think of starting one.  It’s guaranteed to lighten a disheartened mood, ease a nagging headache, and bring serenity and gratification to the reader.

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