there are big blank spaces. Big airy spaces with gentle breezes blowing threw. I"m currently spending a great deal of time "resting" which looks a lot like a heroin addict nodding off. I'm awake, thinking really shallow thoughts or semi-following Champions League Football on live-streaming on my computer, and the next - zonkers land.
That's where I am right now.
However, after I got out of the hospital I started a new journal. Before things got bad, I had been working to finish up some last pages in a couple journals I'd been working in. I have a hard time letting go of projects and my journals often have pages that I keep thinking I want to revisit. But this time, I let myself let go of all of that and close the book on several. It was a good feeling. A decision to be done.
Which is not to say I don't still have a couple journals hanging out. But they're chilling. We are in communication and they're okay taking a hiatus. They're brewing, stewing, simmering, developing, resting, germinating. Who knows what will happen next with them and I'm kind of excited about that.
However, I felt a strong pull to start a different kind of journal - a kind of junk/makeshift thing. I've bound and bought quite a few journals in the last two years and they are fun/varied/interesting and yet instead of reaching for any of those, I pulled a small lined notebook that I got for my kids from Target off the shelf. It's the not full size notebook - 30-40 pages composition quality paper kind of thing.
And it's been perfect. Because of the limitations of my workspace/materials, I knew I wouldn't be doing a lot of painting or glueing. I mostly am working with pencils (colored/watercolor) and pen. I also pulled out a Crayola watercolor set. The paper hates it. It buckles like anything and bleeds through like crazy. I have to go as dry as possible and mob up quickly. I don't care. This completely different journal has been absolutely perfect for what I need and where I am right now. I've been doing a couple page spreads a day - they are completely and totally random. I haven't kept a written journal in years, and yet this is full of bits of writing - gratitude lists, quotes from a daily reader I'm using, random summaries of my mental state, ideas I want to explore more later when my brain returns, song lyrics that get stuck in my head. Maybe it's the medications, or maybe it's just time to include words again in my journaling. I've also done self portraits, cat portraits, visual images that keep coming to me (trees and little gnome houses).
Journaling, which I began when I had my first bout with Ulcerative Colitis almost three years ago, has been a slow progression of me unlocking ideas that had rooted in my head of what I could and couldn't do, what a journal should and shouldn't be, rules and restrictions that I planted in my brain over the years for whatever reason but which make no sense and have only restricted and limited my creativity.
This journal feels like a letting go of the reigns. It is not beautiful, a work of art, cohesive, thoughtful, intentional. It's the opposite of all that. It's just what I need to do when I need to do it. And it has been helpful and supportive of keeping a balance in what has been a up and down time.
I'm thrilled and delighted. When I'm not nodding off.