Reflection, journal development and content creation are all essential elements of the creative process and what aids me as a writer. For many years, I took refuge in my journal. It was a practical and therapeutic way of dealing with life’s ups and downs. It became a natural and comfortable place to reside. I relished the opportunity to pour out my thoughts and feelings, like wearing an old pair of comfy slippers.
I often find myself exploring the entrances and exits of life's metaphorical roundabout. Caught on camera in my slippers, in a moment neither past nor present as I ponder the speed of life. The joy of capturing events, immortalising emotions and reactions in this daily occurrence, fuelled with anticipation and revered reflection. Journal writing was an easy step for a natural reflector with a tendency for procrastination. I need no encouragement to obsess about things but it does work in my journaling favour. To pontificate is an admirable thing, something I am well versed in.
My first journal was my best friend, I trusted her with the deepest, darkest embers of my soul. She was elegantly draped in black embossed and embroidered silk with beautiful pink flowers and a tiny ornate gold clasp. Who am I kidding: I suspect it was patterned polyester from Cape Hill Market, it was the 70’s after all. In my eyes the finest fabric adorned my most precious possession. It was a dark day when I discovered she had been violated. Pages torn, writing defaced with childish scribble and the silky fabric snagged and scuffed.
My disrespectful younger sister had triggered the beginning of an international incident by defacing my beautiful pages. I now confess to teaching her a lesson and taking her favourite book hostage. I can still see the crumpled look on her trouble maker face as I announced that the Lion and the Witch will never be seen again, unless she met my demands. She hated me for every minute that I made her listen to me journaling out loud in our shared bedroom, where we, the Williams Sisters battled in patois for the grand slam. It had taken me weeks to save up my pennies to replace the journal and just, a little more time to return her book.
I smile as I am reminded of the C.S. Lewis hostage taking incident, when my life becomes busy and the pressure of time erodes reflective habits. My crazy animated world becomes stuck on auto play, with limited opportunity for download. Reflection in the virtual sense is a temporary replacement for intimate journal moments. The challenge has always been not to talk out loud in public. As I sometimes do and am caught responding to myself.
Judge me not folks but be reminded that the BBC news is scheduled to be aired daily. We have come to expect this regular occurrence and there is not much that will prevent this without bringing the country to its knees. In my case downloading is as essential, the opportunity to immerse myself and indulge in a well anticipated outpouring, to maintain my sanity and creativity.
It is a very different world we live in today, where thought, opinion, emotion and a variety of white noise is played out through online channels. My journal is a physical writing haven, decorated with habitual offerings that bring together expired events and today's thought provoking slice of fiction. Technology brings digital opportunities but nothing can replace the pleasing feel of pen and paper. If at any time my reflective view becomes obscured and I cannot bring a newly spun reality to feed my own literary appetite. I shall confess and return the custodian's pen.
'You can make anything by writing.' C. S. Lewis