Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ Williams Wordsworth
How long has it been since I first discovered the power that comes from taking pen to paper? How does one recognize the point when an activity crosses the line, becomes a way of life, as instrumental as the brushing of teeth, and no less profound in importance to the maintenance of one’s health.
I come in the morning, most often, sit in silence waiting for the dawn. I wait with expectation, not always rushing to begin moving pen across paper, but allowing the stillness to lead lead, to coax me into hearing the strains that accompany the emergence of a new day.
When did my childhood meanderings under lock and key become vital?
When did writing take on such meaning to me? The rantings of a young girl scribbled over pages quickly; the rage of teen years spilling emotions onto wide ruled notebook paper, finding relief in the releasing. The clock ticking, footsteps in the hall, and the hiding of all dreams, secrets of the ages tucked under the pillow, the mattress…safe from prying eyes. Only to be redeemed from the darkness again and again in the still watches of the night. Flashlight beaming under the covers, pen madly dashing line upon line seeking meaning beyond years…answers unknown in youth.
I wish I still had those journals from the early days.
The earliest journal I have aside of the wild poetry I wrote as a teenager is from 1985. I was enrolled in a Human Relations class taught by a Professor who insisted we had to keep a journal for the class. The clincher was, he would read our entries and be giving us our prompts. I spared him no detail…I wrote through that semester and shared every love, hate and detail of my life bar none. Even in my late teens and early twenties I was brazen in my transparency…I dared exposure, shared the details of my on again- off again relationship and the abortion I chose. He responded carefully to every passage I shared…and I believe gave me a gift, he challenged pointedly me about risky behavior, encouraged healthy boundaries and nurtured my continued honesty. He gave me the gift of acceptance…did not take advantage of my over-exposed life on paper. I dared, he cared…and I believe God used it all to encourage and empower me…out from hiding. I became unafraid of baring my naked soul.
Who dares to expose their very soul on paper?
There is nothing more liberating- or dangerous. It’s all risk. Yet, so much to be gained. I hold back nothing…the pages are blank, but soon covered in nothing less than soul emergence. Sometimes it takes a lot of practice before the soul appears on paper…
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg
Are you a Journal Keeper? Do you long to live a journaling lifestyle, but are unsure or overwhelmed about how to go about it? Do you fear overexposure? Let’s ponder these questions together. Let’s travel together, digging deeper.
If you are ready to journal your journey but feel stifled, stimied or stigmatized in your writing, but long to be free to fly previously uncharted skies, discovering new horizons and exploring endless opportunities for personal growth, and soul stretching -then you will enjoy the upcoming series The Journal Keeper’s Journey: Journaling as a Lifestyle. Please stay tuned for details in the days ahead.
After much consideration and discussion with my Co-Hostess Susie and regular participants, it has come time to share some news. Random Journal Day will be discontinued, a least in the form we have been participating in since the first RJD in 2012. It has been such a wonderful season shared with wonderful friends- Some faithful and some who drop in occasionally. All have blessed and I hope been blessed in participating within our close knit community.
I am still happy for fellow Journal Keepers who would like to guest post on the blog (I will be creating a page for this possibility soon) but NEXT Friday – February 5, 2016 will be our last official “RJD” link up. BUT- STAY TUNED for the alternative journaling opportunities ahead.
Thank you for participating here, sharing your heart and giving us a glimpse into your intimate self. What a sacred trust we have as journal keeping friends who honor one another in the exchange of words, baring of souls and sharing of community.
“Few can see whither their road will lead them till they come to its end.” J.R.R. Tolkien
Feel free to respond to this post and its ruminations, and/or any of the quotes or questions that prompt you. See you next Friday – February 5, 2016 for the final RJD Link up Party!
2/14/16 UPDATE: I am also linking this post with Jamie Ridler and the Give a Girl a Journal Launch which was shared with me by my across the big , blue sea journaling friend Marianne of Poketfull of Vintage . I am hoping to share a poem for that theme soon but meantime figured I would join in even though I am on a Social Media Break I think it sounds like a wonderful endeavor! I look forward to hearing more in the days ahead.