One thing I’ve never managed to do is to consistently keep a journal. I’ve started to keep many – and discarded them. I’ve bought many pretty journals that have ended up to be nice Christmas gifts for friends or family. I’ve been a participant in quite a number of journal retreats. I’ve read so many journals of writers and historical figures that I’ve lost count.
So, it doesn’t make sense – to me anyway – that I have never developed the habit of keeping a consistent journal. Then I realized that this blog is sort of a journal. There are entries, like this one, of thoughts and wonderings. And I guess my poetry entries are like on a more personal level. Other people may read them and relate on some level, but only I know what they mean to me, and only I remember the moments I’ve put into my poetry.
This Edna St. Vincent Millay biography I’m reading (Savage Beauty) has me thinking all sorts of things – realizing all sorts of things Her life wasn’t easy. Whose is, right? When I look at her life, you know, and the lives of other figures I admire – Anne Frank, Anais Nin, Sylvia Plath, Anne Rice, John Cheever – even if parts of their lives are or were/seemed easy and joyful, there are plenty of really sad and difficult times mixed in there too.
They all kept journals. I think you have to be really strong not to run away from yourself.
I once went to a journal workshop about the journaling “techniques” of Ira Progoff. One of the techniques is – and maybe I can use this to catch up with my life (hahaha!) this: (he also has a book At A Journal Workshop probably outdated by now – is supposed to keep you from just going on and on about the same thing all the time in your journal/diary…that circular thing that eventually bores you)
It’s something like putting your life into an outline of chapter titles. And the first chapter is “I was born” (when and where)….and then moving on from there without any elaboration under any of the titles. He calls it “stepping-stones” – like bread crumbs.
I’m going to do that. Not here 😛 That’ll be a start. Like a poem, I’ll know what each chapter title means. And that’s that.