I have been a journal writer for most of my adult life, and recently realized that if I didn't do something soon with all the pages I'd written over the last fifty years, my children will be left with a dreadful job when I "leave this mortal coil". There is so much "blah, blah, blah" in them, along with quotations I've gathered over the years, and cuttings I've carefully pasted in. But mostly I have used writing as a way to get a handle on my many thoughts, and as a place where I could pour out my feelings as I tried to sort how to live this complicated life we're given.
A few weeks ago I read in Judy Martin's blog, that she was re-reading her own journals then wrapping them up when she finished them, and I thought this was brilliant. So beginning with the journal I wrote when I was sixteen, I am beginning this process. I couldn't throw them out, because in some way they measure and mark my life. So instead I'm going to package them up with fabric (silk?) and yarn after I read them, and pack them one by one into a suitcase. Inside there will be instructions for my children - that they are under no obligation to read them, and would likely get very bored very quickly if they tried, but instead that once I'm gone, they should have a big bonfire and burn them all at once, a celebration marked with good food and good wine (will I provide a budget for that, I've been asked!). Now you can see the reason for me beginning this post with the quote about being weird.
In the last twenty or so years, many of my entries have been about my creative life. When I see something that strikes a chord with me, I write it down. Or when I'm struggling with what to do next on a certain piece, that might get written down too. There's often repetition of certain ideas, and when that happens, I know to pay attention. Sometimes by writing things down I am taking the first step towards them becoming a reality. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by a situation and need to work my feelings out on paper. And sometimes I'm just taking the time to be still, to observe the world around me, and to reflect on it. Then the writing becomes more of a meditation.
The small fibre art group I belong to has taken on the challenge of making work with "Words" being the theme. I made quite a few African proverb pieces, but now want to make some more small pieces that incorporate some of the quotations I have found helpful over the years. These are changing all the time, and what strikes me as deep and meaningful today may not do so in a few years time, but the practice of collecting the words of others is now a huge part of me, and making small works which incorporate words will be one more way to do this. I'm looking forward to getting started.