Still Following the Trail of Breadcrumbs
People sometimes ask me, Why keep a journal in the first place? Lets begin with the fact that behind every journal is the daily life, the rainy rush hours no less than the rosy dawns, the idle moments waiting for the light to change no less than the soul-baring late-night talks. Life is inclusion, every crazy thing that happens. Whether it seems like the stuff of tragedy, comedy or farce, there it all is, all tangled together with every messy detail and anticlimax. You could think of it as a screenplay by a brilliant young author: It shows great promise, but it could maybe use a rewrite.
Your journal is your rewrite. There is life as it unfolds, in other words, and then there is what we make of life. We know that whenever we recount an experience we leave things out. We choose; we discern. And what we choose is based on life but its life passed through the prism of our own one-of-a-kind consciousness. Its experience transformed; the rough hemp of what merely befalls us woven into the gold cloth of meaning.
I keep a journal because it helps me make meaning. Its not pretty to look at but the tidiness of the thing isnt the point. The point is that every few days or weeks I find a few minutes to sit down in the busy middle of things - maybe at the Food Court at the Mall or maybe in my car while pausing to watch the sun set - and I write down what is foremost in my mind. And if I feel grumpy when I begin, the grumpiness lifts. If I feel wronged, the sense of injury disappears. If I feel alone, the loneliness vanishes.
When we write down how we feel we see our life more clearly. Better yet, we then feel grateful for it, its every scrap, wrinkle and hiccup. We feel lucky we were put here and grow suddenly and unaccountably cheerful. All of these gifts settle about us once we begin to keep a record of what we saw in our time here.
©Copyright 2012 Terry Marotta, All Rights Reserved.