Today when I arrived at Starbucks, I ordered my coffee, I fired up my iPad, and I reached into my knapsack for my journal. It wasn’t there. I immediately told myself, “o.k., there is nothing to panic about here. You have your iPad. It’s an $800.00 journal. You can type into your iPad notes, like you often do.” Except, that I couldn’t. I needed my journal. I needed to open it up, put my pen in my hand, place it on the semi-glossy parchment, and write in it. It really didn’t matter what I wrote. But it was the act of writing in that very physical, sensual and intimate way that made sense to me.
Maybe because in this age of technology, the act of writing with pen to paper was primal. It goes back to the scribes and the stone tablets.
Well, whatever it was, I had to remedy the situation. I was too far from home to get in my car and drive back there, fetch my journal, and come back here. Although I’ve done that at times in the past.
But the next best thing was to walk to the Winn Dixie across the courtyard and buy a new one. I didn’t love the idea of starting a new journal when I was only midway through my current one. But, I’ve done it before and I’m sure I will do it again.
And, yes, you’re right, I should always keep a spare in the car.
I began journaling in my early 20’s. Each day I would go to the nearest restaurant, order coffee, and pen my deepest thoughts and emotions. Back then, in the early 70s, we didn’t have coffee houses like Starbucks, so it was a little more expensive because you had to tip the waitress that kept the coffee coming.
We also didn’t have smartphones or iPads, so the journal made sense, at least to me. It was a constant companion for decades. My journals got me through one of the most consequential of lifetimes.
Every year or so, I throw out boxes of journals. Otherwise I would have to devote a room to housing them. Besides, it helps me to clear out old, stuck energies. Of course those journals are filled with sage wisdom, but they are also filled with my mind’s ramblings and complaints, and lots of emotional purging. Who couldn’t fill up volumes with that?
And, in the past few years, having my blog, I ended up using a lot of the journal entries as blog posts. So in that sense hopefully the ‘sage wisdom’ will live on.
My journal is also a place I can draw and sketch without too much pressure on myself to make fine art.
Years ago I accidentally left a journal at a Starbucks patio, and when I went back to look for it, a young woman had it under her arm, and was walking into the cafe to give it to the baristas.
She confessed she read some of it, and that it helped her to see things in a different perspective. Apparently that morning her boyfriend broke up with her. She said the writing gave her a sense of comfort.
So, there’s that.
But the heart of why I write in journals, which are mostly those cheap composition books that cost around $1.50, is that it grounds me, and it helps me to feel connected to myself, and my soul.
It’s one of the simplest and deepest joys in my life.
© Copyright 2018 Maria Chambers, all rights reserved. Please feel free to share this content with others but maintain the article’s integrity by copying it unaltered and by including the author and source website link: Maria Chambers http://www.soulsoothinsounds.wordpress.com
Enjoy Goin’ Downtown from my first album, Soothin’ Sounds