Friday, September 14, 2007

Pile of journals

I remember when my son was just about nine years old he was blessed with a fantastic teacher. She encouraged him to write. In fact, she encouraged all her students to write just one page a day in a journal.

My son wasn't excited about this project. He didn't like writing so much. So in an effort to support him and his teacher I promised him I'd keep a journal too. We went down to the store and bought two impossibly small journals, the ones with the tiny locks on them. We figured that if we got small diaries we wouldn't have to write too much. We also bought some manly contact paper to cover the girly print on the covers. (It's the black and white checkerboard journal at the bottom of the stack.)

We took our journals home, covered them with contact paper, took out our pens and . . . stared at each other. We didn't have a clue what to write. I'd never kept a daily journal so I wasn't much help to him.

Many days passed and as you may know 21 days makes a habit. Before long we had stuff to put down in our journals. We thought about it all day so already had an idea by bedtime.

When the year was up we were sort of relieved but at the same time depressed. We'd lasted through a year of this journaling, had read several entries together, and now it all seemed to be coming to an end.

So we went out and bought two new journals. These were bigger than the earlier ones because there were some days, in fact, many days when we simply ran out of room in a single page.

And we haven't stopped since. Just like brushing our teeth at night, it's a habit. We can't sleep without the journal entry for the day. I guess in a way that habit became the mantra for this site: 365 Journal Entries. My goal was a bold one: To continue to journal daily at the blog.

There's a small boy I know today, about the age of my son when he started journaling, who heard me say something about a "journal." He asked me about my journal and to better explain I went out and bought one for him. But before I handed over a blank book I went through it and wrote several questions in random pages. These journal prompts are questions such as:

What's the best vacation you've ever had?
If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go. Draw a simple picture of what you imagine it to be.

He was very happy to get his journal. That was a year ago.

The next time I see him I'll have to ask him how it's coming along.

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior. - Christina Baldwin