sakurablossom: a hand holding a leaf (leaf)
[personal profile] sakurablossom
That the sun always rises in the east is a basic fact about our world. That's the reality; however, as John Lennon once said, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." You know exactly what I mean, but let's explore the idea a bit more.

If you asked 10 people to watch the same sunrise and then asked them to describe the sun rising above the horizon, I guarantee that each person would provide a different account of the same physical event. Some people would emphasize the growing light, some the changing colors on the horizon, and still others the increasing warmth as the sun rose higher in the sky. They all saw the same sunrise, yet each perceived it differently.

From this example, we can see that we each bring to any event or experience our own set of ideas about its importance, our impressions of it, and our own particular way of describing it. Likewise, only you can write about the emotions you experience as your children celebrate each birthday or the feeling you get when someone special embraces you. Make no mistake, your story and mine, though both set in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, will emerge as very different accounts of the times in which we live because each of us see things in very different ways.

Everyone Has a Story to Tell
Since each of us perceives life uniquely, we can each offer a distinct view of our life experiences, our hopes, our dreams, and our secrets. If you think about yourself in these terms, you take on a whole new importance, not only in your mind but also in the pages of your journal and subsequently - if you choose to share your journal with others - to future generations. Your experiences and your perceptions have value.

There are people all over the world who share their stories, regaling tales of their childhood, their families or careers, or their participation in some historic event. Everyone has a story to tell or a certain perspective of the world that is important and unique. Why not keep a record of these stories, ideas, and thoughts?

No matter your age or place in the world, you have a story worth telling, a story that day by day grows in detail and complexity. Whether you're 6 or 60, recording the events of your life will be an invaluable treasure for you to review in years to come. You'll be able to review how you and your life have changed, what mistakes you made, and what successes you enjoyed.

"However, no two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is - in other words, not a thing, but a think." -Penelope Fitzgerald, The Gate of Angels

For the Children
It is never too early to present the idea of keeping a diary to a child. Along with a vivid imagination, children possess a great deal of curiosity about everyone and everything they encounter. This is nature's way of ensuring the learning process. Take advantage of that desire to explore, to discover, to know. Let children see you write in your journal each day. Allow them to share your enjoyment as you make your daily entries.

Children, even babies, often are smarter than we give them credit for and can immediately read someone's mood. When they see the joy you take from writing, the idea will intrigue them, and they'll ask you about it. Seize the moment and tell them exactly what you're doing. Give them a simple explanation: "This is my journal, and it's like my best friend. I can tell it all my secrets. It makes me feel good to do that."

Children love the idea of secrets, and you can even ask your little knowledge seekers if they have any secrets of their own. Most likely, they'll say they do. Ask if they'll share their mystery with you. When they do, you have hit upon a golden moment.

Children love to explore and ask questions. When they learn something new, it gives them a feeling of accomplishment, and they want to put their new knowledge to use immediately. Take advantage of this curiosity and enthusiasm, not only for journal writing but also in all aspects of life. Teach. They will happily learn.
sakurablossom: a hand holding a leaf (that one moment)
[personal profile] sakurablossom
Exploring the Journal

Dear Diary,

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I hope I don't wake up with a pimple in the middle of my forehead. I need to make a good impression.


Go ahead and laugh. I know too many among us who can relate to this diary entry. After all, most of us kept diaries back in the days when dances and the opposite sex dominated our thoughts, and those are the sorts of things we wrote about.

Now, in a more mature stage of life, you've decided to keep a journal again, to keep a contemporary account of your life. But I warn you, keeping a journal can be habit-forming. One day, you'll wake up and realize you have reaped benefits you never dreamed of.

Chapter 1 - Journals - a Quick and Dirty History

We all think about our legacy, but the shape each legacy takes is different for everyone. Many people consider their children and grandchildren as their legacy and thus focus much of their energy on raising the best family they can. Others see their legacy in their professional lives, devoting endless hours to their careers. Many selfless people consider their bequest to the future as the work they do to help those in need - whether spiritually, economically, or emotionally. We all want something of ourselves to continue after we're gone, and journals provide a great way to help us leave concrete evidence of our existence. For many people, the journals become like a treasure trove of experiences and lessons, and after they die, those left behind view them as treasured mementos, a legacy far more valuable than gold.

A journal, on its simplest level, provides a home for our memories. If written from the heart and with a purpose, however, it becomes the vehicle that takes part of us - our heart, soul, and emotions - into the future.

Through our journals, we learn about ourselves and, in turn, leave those lessons for the future. As has always been the case with our species, the wise among us look to the past, learn from it, and step more confidently into the future.

With that in mind, let us look to the past to learn something more of this marvelous tool called a journal.

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Writers Anonymous

November 2012

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