I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I realize the benefit of documenting my life through various means, not the least of which is via this blog here. I also update a couple of document files that chronicle family highlights and menus of my media consumption. And I enjoy compiling an annual album of favorite photos from our life here in Maine.
While I like to jot periodic notes in a small notebook I try to carry with me I am contemplating a more daily practice of capturing thoughts using a larger journal like the one pictured above. Coupled with some drawing pencils we got recently, Linda and I are looking forward to further indulging our creative sides upon an upcoming move that I shall write about here once it happens.
As a friend once said, journals are journeys inward and as we age the more our interior lives take center stage. After all, a journal is how memory and meaning finally meet in our minds. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who pontificated: “The unrecorded life is not worth examining.” And his contemporary Henry David Thoreau said, “I…require of every writer…a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives.”
Speaking of Thoreau, it is largely through his journals that we know so much about his personal life, given that most of his philosophical books were published posthumously and the few that were not were self-published and sold poorly during his lifetime.
Contrast that with the similarly brief life of Jane Austen—whose books were also self-published and sold modestly during her lifetime—whom we know very little about since she directed her sister to destroy all her correspondence after her death.
In closing, I am currently reading a contemporary classic titled Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer, who writes, “We need to listen to what our lives are saying and take notes on it, lest we forget our own truth or deny that we ever heard it.” So, I encourage you to start your own life jottings if you do not already practice the art of journaling. You may find your life speaks in whispers worth writing down.