I’m Doing The 30-Day Journal Project – And You Can, Too!

30 Day Journal

“What if 10,000 (or more!) people journaled together for 30 Days?” That’s what Lisa Sonora wants to know.

On July 1st I’ll be joining thousands of other new and experienced journalers for “FLOW – The 30-Day Journal Project.” Every day I’ll receive an inspirational quote and related journal prompts delivered to my email address. And best of all, it’s free to participate. That’s right – completely and totally FREE!

If you’ve never kept a journal before, this project is the perfect way to start. There’s no need to fear the blank page or wonder what you are going to write. The daily journal prompts will guide your writing as you explore making your creativity flow.

If you are experienced in keeping a journal, this project will help you dust off and freshen up your journal practice. I’ve kept a journal since the early 1970’s, but only recently began using journal prompts as part of Lisa Sonora’s Creative+Practice on-line class.  Writing in response to a journal prompt opened up new information and understanding about my creative blocks and emotional patterns, especially around music and performance anxiety.

Lisa says,

Our minds love to solve problems. When we give it a prompt to respond to, both our conscious and unconscious mind are activated to search for the “answers” to the questions that the prompts evoke.

If you’d like to participate in the FLOW- The 30-Day Journal Project, click the link, and sign up with your favorite email address. June 30th is only a week away. Don’t dawdle! You won’t want to miss your first journal prompt on July 1st.


The Words Return

It’s here: The day when the pressure of wanting to write outweighs the pressure to be wrapped in silence. I could be reentering the world from a monk’s cell, where I am allowed neither the input of others’ words nor the output of my own. Some part of the cell is the grief that returned to my doorstep as the first Thanksgiving without Ruth Ann’s earthly presence approached. But the greater part is the need for rest, for time to let my heart’s fields be fallow, for time to allow all the good and the bad, the bidden and the unbidden of this year to settle, to compost and fertilize whatever is next to emerge.

Over the last weeks my internal images shifted. I’ve been at sea for months. First, alone and adrift in a life boat, watching as the ship that was carrying me sinks beneath storm-driven waves. Later, my lifeboat sprouts oars, and I can row. No land is in sight. I have no course to follow, and no stars to guide my way. I row anyway, not knowing where I am going, or even if I am going anywhere. There is just rowing, and the vast expanse of ocean surrounding me.

Weeks later, in France, another shift. The wooden lifeboat transforms into a Zodiac, propelled by two powerful outboard motors. I stand at the helm, the throttle open all the way. The rubber craft skips over the tops of the waves, as much borne by air as water. The salt spray stings my face and eyes. I still have no idea where I’m going, but wherever “there” is, I’m getting there fast, and the speed is exhilarating.

In the gentle warmth of January afternoon sun, a new image, a new landscape, emerges. There is a field, with plowed and ready soil, stretching towards the horizon, waiting. I do not know if I’ve already sown seeds that will soon sprout, or if there are yet unknown seeds to be planted.

The field does not give me an answer. In winter, when life is tucked away safely into dark earth, awaiting warmth, both planted and barren soil looks the same. But I know that I’ve tilled the ground, and that it is ready to support whatever new life is ready to grow, be it already planted or yet to be sown.


Out of Phase with the Time Stream

There’s an oft used plot device in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where the transporter malfunctions, and the crew member appears to have disappeared, with his component molecules lost forever. The person is actually safely back on board The Enterprise, but cannot be seen or heard due to being out of phase with the ship’s time stream.

That’s pretty much how I experienced September. I am out of phase. I’ve lost my groove. I can’t latch on to the beat. The world is spinning along, and I’m half a revolution behind.

This semester is almost half-way over, and I still haven’t found its rhythm.  Finding time to practice challenges me as never before. The repertoire I’m learning doesn’t seem that much harder, but I get so much less of it worked on in each practice session. I’m doing the same activities as last semester, harp lessons and harp ensemble, recorder ensemble and early music consort, but they all seem to take so much more time. Perhaps it’s that I am moving so much slower in this alternate time stream that I can’t manage to squeeze it all in. Or perhaps it’s that in my little corner of the time-space continuum, the days are significantly shorter than 24 hours, and there really isn’t enough time for it all.

Blogging took a big hit in this alternate reality. I can’t remember the last time I responded to a comment, read a blog, or wrote a post. I think it was in that long ago month of August, sometime before the time stream shifted. I’ve not been writing outside of the blog, either. Whatever scrambled my component molecules turned the writing switch to ‘off.” In this reality, it’s hard to make words make sense, hard to find mental space for new input, hard to find clear thoughts to share with others.

So writing this post, on the first day of this new month, is me beginning again. Beginning writing. Beginning blogging. Beginning reading all the posts I’ve missed. Beginning saying, “Hey, I’m back. I’ve missed you. I still care.”  Look for my comment on your blog, soon.

Entering The After Life

My words have been frozen since writing about John’s memorial service, which was four weeks ago today. I’ve been living in some alternative time stream, where my body and my thoughts move slowly and the simplest tasks take longer than seems possible to complete. Writing a blog post has been like poling an unwieldy craft upstream against the current – lots of effort with little ground gained. I end up no closer to shore than when I started.

Finally the ice is melting. After two weeks of travel and new sights, I am moving from the shock and disbelief that John is gone, to the after life, the life that will be lived despite being irreparably changed by loss.

The life that is mine to live includes writing. Tonight the writing is nothing special or profound. It is reclaiming the act of putting fingers to the keyboard, watching the words appear on the screen, because this is how I live. This is what I do.

My New Blog: Stories That Might Be True

I started my blog, Heart To Harp, almost a year ago. It’s ended up being about my real-life adventures with harp, music, gardening, retirement, and whatever else I’m thinking about day-to-day, as well as where I’ve posted photos for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. But now more writing is demanding to enter my life, so I’ve started an additional blog, called Stories That Might Be True. This one is for the stories that keep tugging at my elbow, demanding existence and wanting to be told. Some of them may have happened in that time and space we all share. Others may be denizens of lands created by dreams and breathing. But all might be true. I hope you’ll drop by storiesmightbetrue.wordpress.com and visit.