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  • Writer's picturejodi

Capturing Essence

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

I mentioned yesterday that bought a new journal… I fell out of practice for a while. But I’m getting back in sync.

I’ve never sat back to consider if my journaling or words in my notebooks were capturing the essence of people or places. But looking back over my life, I believe I must’ve been capturing some truth in my words.

When I was a young girl I would journal almost daily. It was part of my night time ritual. I’d kneel to pray at the side of my bed, write in one my notebooks and then read a chapter or two (or six) of a book. Sometimes hiding under the blankets with a night light. Often in the morning, I’d awake with the vivid thoughts that had occurred to me while I had slept. If it was a school day, I would frantically scribble down those thoughts, as my mom yelled from the kitchen for me to hurry. If it was a weekend, I’d be left alone to linger with my thoughts and words for hours. I guess at that time I wasn’t aware it was ‘journaling’, it was just the thing I did that made me, me. It was something that delighted me, calmed me, and made me whole.

I kept my notebooks organized into three categories. Early signs of my internal juxtaposition, free spirited artist combined with Type-A personality. (A good friend of mine has another light hearted teasing word for that trait of mine! haha) I loved how each journal had a different texture of paper or a different hue of white. One was to express my day dreams or the dreams I had at night while I slept. One was to jot down a fictional short story or start the work of a novel. Occasionally, I’d feel really artsy and even write a poem or two. One book was to write my thoughts, both, good or bad. I suppose this was what some would call a ‘diary’. I never started my entries with “Dear Diary”, as young girls often believe we should to do, for me those words lacked authentic creativity.

As a very young teen, I arrived home one day to find my mother in my bedroom. Scattered across my waterbed, were years worth of my words. I remember the physical feeling of a boulder dropping into my stomach. The flash of heat, an unknown internal anger, instantly flushed my cheeks. The disbelief I felt in my heart and the shock that puzzled my brain, “How dare you!” flashed through my mind. My mouth dropped open but no words came out.

“How dare you.” she nipped.

Capturing her essence and the essence of others in my notebooks brought me the feeling of shame. I was daunted to continue on the path of writing. This experience halted my freedom of speech, literally. I stopped journaling for years. I stopped using my voice. I even believe it stunted my internal evolution & growth.

Quite a few years ago, I once again picked up a pen. I bought myself some beautiful journals. Some leather bound, some with cute whimsical phrases on the cover, all of them nestled into my night table, all of them honoring my juxtaposition of character.

After a little hiatus, I’ll now follow the same practice I did as I child, minus the kneeling at my bedside. I am no longer afraid of what I have to say or the words I use to paint a description. I will never again feel shame for capturing the essence of a person or place.

As I sit here, expressing the essence of myself, my heart is pounding with childhood delight. I feel as if I am beginning the journey of shedding an old, worn out, cocoon.

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1 ความคิดเห็น

06 ม.ค. 2565

It’s amazing how someone’s reaction can change how we feel about ourselves , even worse shut a part of us “off”

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