I am a writer. I've always loved making marks on paper and having them mean something. My mother urged me to keep a diary when I was very young and I have kept up that habit through the good times and bad. It has often been my muse and consolation when grief has visited. When I have a difficult decision I find that just writing about the problem usually leads to a resolution. Writing opens the door in me that leads to what I can only describe as a higher intelligence. So I go there daily to immerse myself for a half hour or so in that pool of tranquility. I emerge refreshed and with a clear direction for the rest of the day.
I am regularly asked to teach painting but the one activity that I consider of greater worth than painting is journaling. It is private, safe and leads directly to the source.
These are my journals for the past 23 years. As a student at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (formerly the Museum Art School in Portland) one of our first requirements was to post regularly in a dedicated journal. I just added the journal to my daily diary writing habit and was off and running. The thing I loved the most was how we were considered "busy" during the day if we were madly scribbling away in the journal. I used that book to hide all my anxieties about being among so many students more gifted than I. Whenever I felt blocked I just whipped out my journal and it was like walking into my own private world where no one could touch me.
The reason I am thinking about journals so much today is because I have just finished the last page in number 16 and will start a brand new one now. For me this is like New Year's Day; I say goodbye to a part of my life that is over and welcome what comes next.
I wonder what will happen to these books when I am gone, filled with my deepest aspirations and my most personal art. I know they will change, drift apart, get lost, be destroyed, join the detritus of the world. I like to imagine them doing that.