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.