I. I spent last Saturday with my beloved Stacey, who has been my friend for a little over a decade now. We took a break from one another for a few years to get straight within ourselves – I had a chaotic house full of dysfunction and a new business to run, and she had all that she had that is not mine to inventory. We reunited in 2016, and no matter what happens, we keep working towards straightness between us. This is the longest lasting, most mature, most consistent relationship I’ve ever had with a woman, and her willingness to work on what needs working on with me and within herself is an inspiration to me.
II. We went for lunch. There was hollandaise and lobster and extra sausage because I am a hedonist. We talked over recent changes in her life, and mine, and then went to run errands. She hoisted my gigantic new Ikea table up three flights of stairs on a dinky little dolly because I am sedentary and need my puffer if I do more than walk at a snail’s pace. She’s five years younger than me, and she works in retail. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
I bought her lunch and a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc as a gesture of gratitude, but there is no repaying her for the way she is always just *fucking there* when I need her.
III. I genuinely and sincerely wish we could live together. That almost happened last month, but the place fell through and we were both pretty bummed. I have to admit, though, that I was also relieved because moving feels like more than my nervous system can actually handle right now, so it was probably for the best. That being said, my lease is up in July, and I would not mind a fresh start. I am in a weird place where I feel like I’m waiting for my life to begin, and I really need that to shift. I am hoping the universe is listening.
IV. While we were out running errands, we stopped in at Chapters so she could pick up something read in her bath with her bottle of Kim Crawford Sauv Blanc. I have not been in a bookstore since I signed up for Amazon Prime, so wandering the aisles was a real treat. I made a beeline for the paper products department (because stationary addict), and discovered that they have these amazing sketchbooks for $14.99 CAD that are coptic stitched, and have Kraft covers. I am in love.
These may just replace my beloved Kraft covered (cheap) composition notebooks.
I do this thing called Sweet Trash Journaling that you may have heard of, and that is generally what I use my composition notebooks for. I feel like it might be time to switch it up since I am journaling *so much* that I’m going through eight or so a year. This one sketchbook might just take me through six months or so, so we’ll see. You can order them on line here.
IV. Notebooks, sketchbooks, and any kind of stationary make me ridiculously happy.
V. So do lists.
VI. I started using this writing format during a ten day writing practice created and hosted by Isabel Faith Abbott. You should know her if you don’t already, and if writing is your thing – especially of the self-inquiring kind – you might want to get on her mailing list so you can hear more about her next offering.
The format kept me writing to the tune of 100 things that poured out of me like water over rocks over a period of two weeks. Ten things a day, Monday through Friday. Her prompts, musings, and the quotes she presents are perfect, gentle, and act like some kind of magic wand to unlock whatever is deepest and most urgent within you. I am adopting the ten things a day format for my daily writing practice into infinity, because it is that effective. Find more about Isabel here.
VII. Poems happen this way. I’ll show you in 2020 when I plan to create a poetry workshop that will have you creating poems to use in your art journal. Yes, your own poems. I am ridiculously excited about this, and I am plotting it and planning it already. It feels like I’m coming full circle, back to writing and poetry after all these years, but with the extra spice that visual journaling provides. It’s an exciting new direction that I’ve been longing to take. Scary, because anything new is a bit scary, but scary just gets the blood pumping. Am I right?
VIII. Poems happen this way, with the moment you spend taking a long look at whatever is arising around you or within you. It is a reward for paying attention. It is what can happen when you recognize the value of your own ordinary reality. Poems happen this way, with one word after another until something striking catches fire on the page, lights up and lights you up and demands a slower pace, a more careful arrangement of the words for eyes, and for breath.
IX. I am still a poet after all these years, and it has been very good to remember that.
X. That being said, nothing is ever going to replace visual journaling as my primary spiritual and healing modalities. Poetry, writing, both are important to me, but they can leave me spun out in a way visual journaling never does. The way these two creative practices supplement and support one another is something I’m deeply invested in exploring in the years to come. I hope it bears luscious programs that I can share with you in time, and maybe even books that are lush with both words and images. I hope the universe is listening. I know I am.
P.S. I’m blogging every day in April as part of my semi-annual “Artfully Wild Blog Along”. If you’d like to blog along, too, you can join me here. The rules are simple: read and comment on three blog posts for every blog post you share in our Facebook Group. Easy peasy.
Speaking of Facebook Groups, I recently dusted off one of my alumni groups, spiffed it up and re-envisioned it as a hub for all my students, past and present, as well as those who just want to hang out with me on the regular in a cosy virtual space. The Wilderhood is a lovely place to be if you enjoy weekly challenges, sharing your art journal spreads, and seeing my face pop up live on the regular. Please join us here.