Sunday, July 11, 2010

ENTRY # 5 - Creative Release

Short Description of Journaling: the act of recording entries about events or life experiences into some sort of log or book.

Lately, at age 42, I’ve been gathering all of my straggler journals laying in boxes, in containers under the bed, in the corner of the closet…I’ve been painstakingly going through all of them to put my journey in order. I began this entire effort after I had decided to burn all of my journals. My husband and I were headed to our acreage and I was going to burn three at a time. Don’t ask my why. I felt as if the act of burning each of them would somehow set me free from my scary past. As I randomly selected the first three journals to do my Native American dance around as they hit me. Will burning these journals incinerate my condition? No. The journals might burn, but the condition remains. The fact is...I do not have a curable disease and the scary episodes that go with this disease are a part of my life. Burning the journals will not erase my Addison’s Disease. It’s a life-long tag. So, I began collecting each journal that had been stashed away. One by one, with a clean cloth, I took care to wipe the thick dust from the covers. Still, I did not read the words I had written, not yet. Instead, I clearly marked the outer spine of each journal for chronological reference. This had never been my intention, but I discovered a highly personal library forming before my eyes.

At this point, I had to find a place to put all of these journals. I couldn't stick them all over the place as I had done for over thirty years of writing. The collection took on a life of its own. I felt a bit overwhelmed. I still don't understand exactly why. Maybe some psych revelation into this odd struggle could be helpful. Onward...for organization, I did the unthinkable, the previously unbearable; I put them ALL together. With a three-tiered step ladder, I got to work with clearing a top shelf on my side of the closet. Then, only able to hold one or two at a time, I made many trips back up and down that step ladder, and I carefully lined each journal side by side on that high shelf in chronological order. This inaccessible location slowly morphed into a highly personal library. Today and always, it will be odd to see those journals ---- a wide spectrum of emotions wash over me as I remember so many moments of taking a pen to those pages and writing about things I couldn't talk about.

Oddly, the process of organizing these journals has gifted me with some peace. After all of these years...I could not have known that the simple act of compiling all of my journals could have been so emotionally difficult, yet cathartic. In a way, I feel like an explorer. For almost a decade, I have battled with this disease; I have shared the ups and downs with those safe blank pages. Some of the ink is blurred by my tears. Some pages held so much pain that I felt compelled to rip them out and tear them to shreds. But, I gained wisdom from each hand-scripted page. So many people are too afraid of writing; it exposes them to the deeper side of themselves and sometimes that's not so easy. A pen is the shovel of life - each sentence written with authenticity is an act of digging deeper into a person's soul. Bits and pieces clouded by the dirt of life are being brought to the surface. I guess for all artists, the process of creative release has a similar effect. A drummer can beat the skins of his drums and his drum-sticks hitting the drums are releasing his pent up emotion. A painter transfers emotion into color and form on canvas. Most of us need some form of release. Maybe you hit a few golf balls and all of life's stresses fly away with each swing. We all relate - even if each of us is unique in our outlet. Every person has internal messes to clear out of their system. Journaling is my method for coping.

My battles do not equate weakness. Conversely, they add up and I have increased strength, determination and perspective. I am a vibrant woman, filled with a deep appreciation for life---ALL of life. It's the reason we're attracted to the various "Beauty and the Beast" stories. Somehow, in some way, we all live with both elements. If I hadn't been able to see a deeper meaning to life a long time ago, I would've given up and called it quits. Intense suffering, both physically and emotionally, can force you to think of things you had never considered before. Then you learn...if you don't choose to quit, then you might have to submit. A little, perhaps a lot. But, there is a vast difference between submitting and quitting. Don't ever forget this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will be posted soon after - having to moderate comments because of some SPAM getting through. So, post your comment, like usual, and I will publish it as soon as possible. blog readers often give me inspiration for subsequent blog posts, so I thank you in advance! Thanks for reading this blog; I'll enjoy reading your comments.