Tuesday, March 2, 2021

SOL21 Slice 2: To what end?



I am participating in the
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2021.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!





I started another journaling notebook yesterday. I use simple five-subject, wire-bound, "college" notebooks for my daily, early morning writing; I have used these for years. I have been flying through notebooks this past year of pandemic and retirement. I have the time and the space. I write every day.

To what end? Why do I write?

During this year of pandemic, I have become more organized and focused about my writing - I actually carved out a space for it. I created a 'studio' space for myself in my basement, a warm and happy nook with many favorite treasures near at hand as muses. I like being in this space. Truth be told, I write in lots of other parts of my house, too. I just sort of flop into the coziest spot, often near a window, near light. Sometimes, if I have trouble writing, that's all I do - I move to a different spot in my house.

To what end? Why do I write?

I decided to gather all my writing notebooks and have them in one place, in my writing nook. My goodness, I have been so disorganized - these journals were in closets, my bedside table, everywhere. Yes, I found all my journals and put them in order by date. Looking at this collection of journals, I could see that my journaling practice began very slowly, with scattered, infrequent entries during the early years of raising children. Back in these early days, I used a variety of sizes of 'proper' journals - I would buy a new journal as a treat for myself, hoping to capture thoughts on a regular basis. It didn't really work - I wrote inconsistently, with many months between entries. These early years, I didn't really have a 'writing practice' but a 'writing sometimes.'


At some point, I transitioned to the common notebooks. Oddly, I started writing more. Somehow, it freed me, writing became release. With an ordinary notebook, I find, I can pick up and put down as I wish, when I wish. I can even tear out pages, which is a nice feature. Funny, when I was teaching, I would take one-two years to complete one of these five-subject spiral notebooks; now, during this pandemic, I am filling one every few months. This is what time offers to writing.

Again, to what end? Why do I write?


Yes, I found all my journals and it is quite a stack! I put them in my magic cabinet. Magic cabinet, you ask? Oh, see, it's a leftover from my preschool teaching days. Back in the day, for my first classroom, I painted an old cabinet (and decoupaged - that alone tells you how many years ago this was, ha!). I kept it right next to my teaching chair, at our whole group gathering space. Every morning, as I set up for the day, I 'hid' special extras within, to unveil at the perfect time - a special book or puppet, an activity . . . you know, magic!

I don't know why I held onto this old cabinet. I should have tossed it, when I cleared out my classroom. Even here at home, I have been culling things left and right, throughout the pandemic, and I just can't bring myself to toss the magic cabinet. Yet.


It is a little weird to have it here at home.


It was even weirder to have it empty! So, that's where the journals are now. One day, I'll get rid of it. One day, one day, one day . . . .


Journals and cabinets - I can't live with them, I can't get rid of them. What am I supposed to do with this stuff? Anyone re-approach their writing notebooks? What do you recommend?

Again, to what end? Why do I write?


I don't know. I'm still writing! Ha!! Maybe I'll figure out why when I'm done. Maybe I'll throw everything away!




"Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye."

- Beyonce Knowles


12 comments:

  1. Don't throw it away! Wow, you have so many journals, I am so inspired by you! I love the part you write about the cabinet, it is like a little part of you is still holding on to your classroom, your teaching life. Thank you for this piece, I need to be better at keeping my journals. I need to be better at writing, not just typing my ideas!

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    1. I think a little part of me is still holding on to my classroom...I bet you are right!

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  2. "I didn't really have a 'writing practice' but a 'writing sometimes.'"I might have a writing sometimes habit... I feel inspired to gather my notebooks from here and there and collect them in one space- what a lovely post- thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! Funny, seeing all my journals all together has motivated me to keep writing...it is nice to have them in one place.

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  3. Keep the journals. Maybe you could freshen up the cabinet and make it more befitting your newly decorated basement space. I suspect your granddaughters and son will want to read those journals some day. They are part of you, and a window unto who they are to you. I can imagine what they must say, the secrets they hold.

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    1. The journal stash basically fills the cabinet - I'll probably get rid of the cabinet in a bit, and find a better place for the journals. I think the cabinet makes me a little nostalgic right now.

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  4. Wow. Such an interesting post. I agree, keeping the notebooks is a good idea. And it seems appropriate that they are in your magic cabinet. Sadly, I've gotten rid of my journals along the way. It would be interesting to look back at some of the early ones--before marriage, during college, etc. Oh well. I'm not much of a saver, so it's probably better that way!

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    1. Oh my! I am sorry you got rid of journals along the way. I am really curious about what was on my mind in earlier years...it will be interesting to look through them again.

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  5. I love the cabinet. The idea of it holding all your notebooks makes me feel like it is still carrying magic.

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    1. That is a nice idea! Magic of journaling.

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  6. As a dear friend once told me, and I am paraphrasing, journaling is the kernals of ideas that pop open and lead to bigger ideas. Slices of your life...many of us wish we had a window back in time. :) So glad you do

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    1. That's a good way to look at it - a window back in time. Thank you!

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