recently, my friend bridgette (who is an evocative encaustic painter, an art book maker, and an all around wise woman) shared her journaling practice with me. she had been sharing, for awhile already on instagram, her morning pages practice and i was feeling called to explore that. we met for tea at cunningham's where i had never been, and she brought along her journal - it's a handmade book filled with writing and drawings and pasted in paintings and other bits, it's exquisite.
i've been practicing morning pages for a few weeks now, more traditionally, i suppose, than the way bridgette practices - i have an empty notebook and a few pencils beside my bed, and each morning i write three pages, sitting there before i get up (though, to be honest, today i only wrote two). it's stream of consciousness and i can hardly read my own writing, which is convenient because i don't go back to look, or i haven't yet. somedays i write in the dark and i can't imagine what those pages look like. once i found, after a morning of writing in the dark, that i had written on empty pages somewhere in the middle of the book, instead of on the next available page.
i am appreciating the practice enormously - in fact, i love it, and it does, as julia cameron suggests, clear away the cobwebs of my mind.
i've never considered myself to be a journal-er (the box of yellowed composition books in the back of my closet would suggest another version of the truth), though i do like to capture the bits of my life (ahem, habit), and i do have lots of notebooks. i have my planner - a simple moleskine that i've outfitted with days of the week and months of the year - where i keep my to-do lists, my scribbles, ticket stubs pasted inside, post-it notes. there's my ideas notebook, another (smaller) moleskine in which i jot down inspiration before it goes flying by. and i have a sketchbook (or three). but ever since that morning at the cafe with bridgette and her journal, i've been thinking about what it would mean to have a single notebook, to have everything in one place - more than proof of any one thing, a collection.
which is why i'm sharing photos of tree stumps here this morning (and searching for a word to replace "stump," one that's more uplifting), because maybe this space can be that collection, if i can retrain myself to use it - and to use it in this way. i've been having a crush on tree stumps (ends? edges? bases?) for about two years now, and lately i'm trying to tune in and pay attention to those things that are calling me (i see a pattern here). i'm pasting these tree photos here in this space like ticket stubs or scribbles in my notebook, as a reminder, as an indicator, as proof. of something.