I found something to console myself these last few days (much stress around continued revisions of next novel) by accident. I’m about to open another blank journal, only these days I collage….that’s too grand a word….I cut out images and words I like and then I paste them randomly on the blank pages. It’s quite exciting to open one’s journal and come across an image. Somehow the pages don’t seem so white and empty, and it’s fun to wonder what I was thinking when I picked that image.

So, in making my soon-to-be journal ready, I found myself on the floor with scissors and glues and lots of images from magazines, and there was something so soothing in the pasting of the images on the blank pages. It was lulling enough to make me forget for a time my current upset around my revisions, novel, career as a writer. I went to some quiet, focused-completely-on-the-matter-at-hand place, and those kinds of places provide rest.

How do you soothe yourself? What takes you to a no-mind quiet? (Addictions can; but there’s guilt afterwards and perhaps chaos.) And how do you make your journal interesting? And what do you write in your journal? I try to focus on Rachel Naomi Ramen’s three questions: what inspired me today, what surprised me today, what touched me today…..and the answer on this particular day in big old Houston, Texas would have been the wind all day long and the blooming star jasmine spilling over the fence.

Thanks to friend and fellow writer Kate for the idea about collaging a journal. We did it a few years ago during our dance meditation summer monastery, and you’ve never seen grown women so absorbed. For days afterwards, we’d be all over the house and dance space during our lulls leafing through magazines for images and pasting them into our journals….lovely…..


5 responses to “journal

  1. Your insights are amazing and always make me ‘think’ or ‘feel’, depending..
    Terrific post…

  2. Flat Enchilada

    This is the perfect thought for me today. Just about an hour ago, I was in Instant Message with a former student who has become very reflective since the recent death of his father. I asked him if he has considered a journal or blog. He said that, in fact, he has been thinking about it. Now I can send him these three simple questions to help him.
    Thank you, Karleen, for this and your beautiful books.

  3. Thank you for your comment. And I must know….why flat enchilada?

  4. Flat Enchilada

    I spent many years out in West Texas where enchiladas montanas are the old traditional fare. They are stacks of corn tortillas with the red chile sauce and cheese and onions on them. The vaqueros eat them with a fried egg on top. I am sure you can find flat enchiladas in Taos.

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