I’m very excited—-I got a perfect score on my Physics test from this weekend! AH!
Another bright spot in my life is the recent purchase of a lovely little sketchbook that I’ll be repurposing as an art journal. I’ve seen some gorgeous journals on the art forums that I visit, and some of them are crazy inspirational. Also, I stumbled upon Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal, which is (shockingly) a journal and a method of living. Instead of writing down the boring crud you do and see every day, the author filled her book with random instructions and encouragement to interpret those suggestions as you wish, like “Eat some colorful candy and lick the page” and “Make a sudden, unpredictable movement with the journal and write about it”, and one is left thinking “What the hell? Did she eat paint chips as a baby? Why am I slightly intrigued by such absurdities as ‘spilling coffee’ on my pristine journal?”
It seems that the idea is to have a journal that compels you to move and live, instead of simply being a carbon-based deposit box for the banalities of the average day. I, personally, don’t intend to buy Ms. Smith’s book, but she has a pretty damn good idea. Why not do something odd for the sake of oddity? It’s an awesome feeling when you realize that no one really cares how goofy you look, and you can act like a goob all you want because it’s okay to be a little strange.
Of the few people I’ve known who choose to keep journals, not one of them has “made it their own”. The books are pristine collections of neatly written paragraphs upon unwrinkled pages, perfectly cared for covers, and a set of color-coordinating and/or monogrammed pens. How many people carry, much less use, matching pens? It happens, yes, but the tools don’t match the experiences of the average person. A chronology of life should, naturally, reflect life: dirty covers, painful memories, random doodles in the margins, lame poetry written for your bed-ridden grandfather, lists of things that make you happy, random splotches of ink from the pens that explode under your iron grip of fury, ticket stubs and stickers, stupid letters from people that help you smile, and all of the bad moods and good vibes you’ve survived. Journals need feelings, and it’s the responsibility of the writer to provide them, as awkward or uncomfortable as it may be. Laying out your emotions and stress is like a therapeutic bra for your heart; everyone could use a little extra support.