Back in November, at the beginning of Winter, I made a new journal. It was very cute, about five by nine inches, with a cork paper cover. At the time I was rather pleased to be starting a new journal at the beginning of the Celtic New Year, and so I thought it would be fun to set an intention, in keeping with the holiday, which I then threaded through the pages with doodles of embroidery. I also hoped to have filled my journal by Imbolc, the Celtic holiday that honors our turn into Spring.
Now we are just past that holiday, and it’s time for a new journal. I made it yesterday, and this morning I made my last entry in my little cork book, where I noted, “how terrible it is to have such lovely books filled with such driveling, but there it is. I must drivel. I suppose it is like making cold calls. You have to make nine to get one good one, and that’s if you are lucky.”
I’ve been journaling for quite awhile now. Since sixth grade or so, I would guess. I know there is a lot of drivel in that dusty collection of composition notebooks and handmade books that I’ve written since then (yes, I’ve kept them all). But there’s something golden, something that keeps me coming back to the blank page, morning after morning. It’s as if by writing I sweep away the detritus of every day life and get down to the gleaming bones, the hidden gems, the wild-winged truths that want out of their cages and into the open air of my conscious breath. Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the gems I found in my little cork book, before moving on to my new journal.
Live Oak at Ocracoke Island, NC
And here’s my new journal, twice the size of my little cork book, but also thinner–she’s only three signatures deep. Already I am wondering in what ways the larger format will stretch me in my journal-keeping. It’s been awhile since I had such big pages to fill up with my drivel and gems.
I marvel, too, how a new journal is like a fresh start, a new season onto itself, one in which the inner landscape may be well-tended or neglected, but where things are always growing and changing. And I guess that’s why I go to such pains to make my journals by hand. It’s the book of my life, and I want it to be beautiful.