I've never been too into writing in a journal. (I've probably written about this before, but it seems so long ago now I'm not sure...) Writing in this blog is the most "journaling" I've ever done for an extended period of time. My brother and one of my sister's has (usually) kept a journal. The sister has been doing it since she was pretty young, and she's got stories about that.... My mom keeps one, I know, though she doesn't talk about it ever. But she always has a journal of some sort next to her bed. I've noticed she's particularly kept the habit up more since my father died. I tried to write a "diary" once and it quickly morphed into a journal for me that was a journal of poems I wrote. When I was in high school, and then beyond that for many years, I wrote poems every day. I have many of the ones I wrote on scraps of paper in a cardboard box that I lug around with me and almost never look at. It's this huge orange packing box and it's stuffed to the gills. Somewhere along the line I quit writing on scraps and discovered the joy of buying a blank journal book. Hardcover, preferably a solid dark color. Those books early on were filled w/ more poetry, and after many endless nights of hanging out at the Country Kitchen or Bob's Diner, drinking coffee w/ way too much sugar and milk in it, it morphed into doodles, and drawing's. Then ideas for paintings, and the words became fewer and fewer. I rarely write poems anymore. When I do, they are always spur of the moment...working it out right then...and I rarely if ever look back.
The journals take a spot on my bookshelf. They are lined up in order of appearance usually. There are no more than ten...not even that. Sometimes I take one down and flip through it for ideas. One of the later one's that I have is a small black wire ring thing. More of the disposable kind, but that I've managed to hold on to for quite awhile. Since the middle to late nineties I suppose. I took it down the other day... Well, really I took it down months ago and then set it on my painting table. And then it got moved to my window sill. And then it fell down without my noticing. And then got buried under a kitchen towel that had migrated also. And then the cats got pissed off at me for something or another and decided to piss on this very towel. Which soaked the book. Disgusting. I know. This is the kind of thing you've just got to let go. And also remember...so it doesn't happen again. I know it might seem kind of gross...but I simply couldn't just throw the book out. I had to see what was in it, what could be salvaged. Fortunately it was filled with other things like grocery lists...very few poems and drawings...but a few nonetheless, that I had to pull out and let dry. Nature art...yeah, that's right! I scanned the few sheets that I saved.
I was looking at two of them this morning. I was struck looking at them at how this one:
was really a preliminary sketch to this painting:
The thought is clearly the same to me. Perhaps I should try the painting again and stick more to the reality of the original drawing, just for fun. I also was drawn to this one:
which was drawn most likely close to the same time as the previous drawing. The house in this picture is a fair representation of the house I grew up in that my mother lives in now. (Those of you that have been reading me for awhile will remember me talking about this house a lot.)
I think both drawings are so interesting to look at now because I can see that there was a theme in both of going to or being in, the city. Interesting because I have lived only briefly in anything I consider to be a city. Austin, Tx. for three weeks, and Fort Collins, Co. (which I'm not sure I count given the time I lived in it...still more of a town...) Both paintings seem to me to be representations of leaving home though. One is leaving and going up a path, and one is being there and being able to handle the city. I don't think I like cities. I love visiting them, but when it comes to living in one, the idea gets me all tensed up. It was my downfall when it came to acting. A lot of you would not know that when I set about college and getting a degree in theatre, it was most definitely to "become an actress". But, man just even thinking about that is such a whole 'nother post...even if it's related...that I can't wrap my mind talking about that right now. I don't know if I'll live in the city in the future. Anything's possible. I"m sure I would adapt.
So this is the path I went down this morning over coffee.... Maybe I'll go check out some more journals and see if there is anything interesting to share.