Have you ever journaled something on a page, then gotten distracted -- three days later, you turn to the page, and you're no longer in the same mindset as when you started? What do you do? Will you continue on the vein you started simply to fill a page, or do you move on as well?
I recently was able to see many of my journal pages disconnected from context, ie, outside the side-by-side existence of being in a bound journal. And a thought struck me:
Sometimes, the pages with the least amount of words are the most powerful.
Take the one above. The first part at the top is about some tomatoes grown by the sisters at a local convent. They trade these sweet vegetables for coffee grounds to help fertilize their garden. Some weeks, we get cucumbers, or tomatoes, or other yummy veggies in exchange for our donation of grounds. And let me tell you, they were some of the most delicious foods I've ever tasted. When I first popped a cherry tomato in my mouth, I almost giggled, and knew I had to journal about it.
Only three little lines made it onto the page. That was all I had to say in order to remember.
A week and a half later, I felt some trepidation about what I'd been working on, a silly little self-indulgence story that would never be seen by anyone but trusted friends, instead of "real work" that needed to be done. Feeling the need to rationalize and validate my feelings, I turned to my journal, writing a paragraph before my break was finished.
A single paragraph that made me feel better.
Yesterday, looking at the page, I felt like doodling and coloring. So I played with some colored pencils, colored and drew, feeling better for doing some art for the day. I wrote about the rustle of leaves I could hear out my window.
A little fragment that reminds me of lying under the trees as a young child.
Your pages do not need to be completed at the same time, on the same day. They do not need to be filled with words or images of collaged bits to be "finished." You can add to pages days and weeks and months later as life progresses and changes and morphs and the leaves change color or snow falls. They are there for you when you want to remember, or need to write down a phone number from information. They are depositories of your day-to-day. No prompts needed. Just life.
Even the ugly pages have meaning. The blue page above didn't turn out how I'd like. But looking at it a month later, I can see how I felt on that day, remember hiking through the cool, still air of the woods, discovering a new sacred place with my four-legged companion. Not a beautiful page, or a nice one, but one with great meaning that will probably remain "unfinished."
Just like the one next to it. A single purple line. Beautiful in its simplicity.
Think about it for today. And everyday.