When life gets crazy, fall back to the journal. I’ve said it before: it is a safe place to go when all else is complicated and out of reach. And this week definitely qualified as such.
The week consisted of an impromptu travel excursion and three of our four family members falling prey to a vicious stomach bug. So in the midst of flight delays and late night runs for Lysol wipes and ritz crackers, no big writing goals were accomplished.
Instead, I wrote a list of moments I’d like to remember from my trip to Daytona with my Dad and his girlfriend to see my Nana and Papa. I wrote some memories of the times my Nana and Papa took care of me when I was a little girl. It all wound up being a bittersweet balance of what is against what was and a reminder that time keeps ticking ever on, no matter how much I might want to grab onto the hands of that damn clock and slow them down a little. But anyhow. All of it went into the journal. And in that way, I beat the clock because those memories are there for all time.
This all works to accomplish a few things. First and foremost, it gets all of these deep emotions and the memories connected out of my brain and allows me to work. I care about my family very deeply and my Nana and Papa are very important to me, and spending time with my Dad and his girlfriend, and all of that gets jumbled in my brain and distracts me. Getting all of those things onto paper allows me to work and secondly it archives those things for future projects. Remembering walking the beach in those sunrise hours, watching the pelicans sky-surf along the waves in the reddish morning light or belly-laughing over king crab legs as the sun fell outside the windows of the restaurant at the end of the inlet is all part of the feelings I want to remember forever. Those feelings are what fuel my writing and feed my characters.
This week I’m looking forward to getting back into the regular routine to take advantage of the last couple of weeks before my girls are out of school and summer vacation begins. It’s going to be a lovely summer full of trips to the library, picnics on the deck, day trips to the mountains, crafting projects, and occasional lobster rolls on the beach. More moments, more memories, more reasons to journal.
How is the writing going? Does anyone out there journal? What kinds of things do you journal about? If you don’t journal, what are some creative ways that you capture important memories?