Are Our Kitchen Appliances Affecting The Development Of Journaling?

This week is the launch of Jamie Ridler Studio’s Give a Girl a Journal initiative. A wonderful opportunity to put journals into the hands of as many girls as possible.  There are a number of ways you can participate in this inspired endeavor, you’ll find details here.

Jamie’s journal focus inspired me to some musings about types of  journaling, results from the practice of journaling and finally I wondered where and when does journaling begin for us.

I’ve loved and practiced some form of journaling most of my life. There is an extensive collection of journals residing in my home…. sketch books, elaborately bound books, repurposed books, inexpensive composition books, handmade books. Wonderful supplies and tools for conveying ideas, images, impressions…. forms and words. Each one holds a promise and the magic of what might unfold in it’s pages.

I find journals reflect back, allowing for a different perspective, for explorations, reframing, or reconstructing. They have the possibility of capturing a thought, an idea, an image and they can become a wellspring, accessing things within, known and unknown. I’m always in hopes that inspiration will be preserved, wisdom revealed and patterns recognized all within the pages of a once blank book.

I began to wonder about where and when we began our first journaling. I decided that in my youth and my children’s younger years journaling began with our refrigerator. That repository of all manner of wonderful nourishment that is generally the focal point of one of the most heavily trafficked rooms in everyone’s home…the kitchen. My theory is that this amazing appliance was truly our first journal. Childhood refrigerators were where our very first artistic endeavors, self expressions, scribbles, elaborate coloring adventures and finger-painting magnificence were showcased, praised and admired by all. This in-home gallery space was the first to hold our expressions of ourselves, outside of ourselves i.e. a journal.

Generally I think of journals and journalling as a private or somewhat private enterprise. Places where we meet ourselves in ways that others don’t see us. Places for trying things out or revealing sparkling dreams too tender for the public gaze or perhaps things too dark to be shared. But I think the early seeds of journaling were planted with magnets on refrigerator doors, in public, reflecting our brilliance out to all who passed by.

In our home, over time, our refrigerator accumulated magnetic words that were formed into poems, comments, notes and random language gatherings around the continued rotating art. I wonder where those journaling seeds are planted now. Ours was one of the last households to get a stainless steel refrigerator (I have a huge aversion to how easily they accumulate fingerprints!). Now, refrigerators don’t hold magnets…..where are those early expressions of brilliance showcased now? I’m not suggesting that journals will ever replace refrigerators or vice versa, but in the past I think they’ve shared common roots and I’m sorry my grandchildren aren’t having refrigerator journals.

Participating in  Give a Girl a Journal opens the possibilities of early journaling for girls everywhere.  You can help support and encourage girls in finding their voice and expression. Perhaps it will help balance what we’ve lost with the development of non magnetic appliances.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh what a fabulous connection – I’ll never think of refrigerators in the same way again. You’ll be happy to know that I keep a set of magnetic words on my fridge and if you visit you’re required to leave me a little poem line. It’s collaborative journaling indeed.

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    1. I seem to have a very high percentage of friends who have magnetic friendly fridges….surely there is some amazing thread of insight in there that I’ve just not found yet. What art form is more magnetic than poetry? Clearly an inspired match…. now, I’m going to need to be locating some magnetic words as well as a conveniently placed magnet friendly surface to hold them.

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  2. What a beautiful insight! I remember when we got our shiny new refrigerator; it was heartbreaking to discover that we couldn’t, as you’ve said, journal on it! Thank you so much for sharing your journal story and for being a part of Give a Girl a Journal! ((bighugs))

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    1. Jamie, I so enjoy your work and am thrilled to be a part of the support for your wonderful Give a Girl a Journal project. Like so much of what you do, it is fun, creative and life enhancing. I know this is just the beginning of something that will grow into more marvelosity over time. I’ll be cheering you on!

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  3. pattiek says:

    Oh, such happy memories you invoke. I have such a clear picture in my mind of some of the beautiful work my girls proudly attached with their favorite magnets. Once they began more private journaling, favorite photos replaced their more artistic forms. What a wonderful connection! Oh, and I still have an old white fridge, and it is still covered in photos. Thank you!

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    1. I love the idea that there was a progression from early work to more photos accompanied by private journaling. Having an old white fridge is clearly a big plus…. I’m seriously considering possible ways of introducing attractive magnetic surfaces to my kitchen.

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  4. clkitchell says:

    What a delightful post! I had to go look at my stainless refrigerator. The sides hold magnets, and a little of one side sticks out from the cabinet enclosure – so I still have some space to express myself out loud.

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    1. How lucky you are to have a small space for public journaling. I checked my fridge after seeing your comment and there are no visible areas that would hold magnets. I’m thinking of getting a piece of metal to hang (in some very attractive way of course ) for magnet journaling in the kitchen. Someone at a local art fair was selling a very decorative version of that idea and I didn’t realize how much I needed one!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this. I wish my family members loved journaling as much as I do, so that we could have a refrigerator-journal of our own…

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    1. Perhaps if you start the refrigerator journal other family members will join in. They may just need to discover how much fun it can be!

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      1. Sadly, everyone’s busy with their own lives and too much in love with technology. I am the odd one out in my family. But there’s definitely no harm in TRYING… 🙂

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  6. What a fantastic post Corky! We were running out of room on our fridge (you will be happy to know it is NOT stainless) so we decided to make an art corner. We truly feel that art is the best form of expression and should be nourished and celebrated.

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    1. I continue to be delighted by all the creative ways we share the brilliance of our children’s creativity as well as our own. The cool installation that you have created to expand the gallery experience is inspired. Sid must be so happy to see the kaleidoscope of her making changing and evolving right there in the middle of everything.

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