One of the things I did this weekend was assemble and bind a number of journals – five to be exact – that’ll I’ll be using during the year. I’ve been doing this pre-New Year’s for a few years now, ever since I was gifted with a spiral-binding machine and looking for ways to incorporate it in my life. I’ve bound books for decades – the needle, thread, signatures and bookboard way – and I love doing this. So, in a sense, binding by punching pages and using wire spirals seems a bit of a cop out. Yet I love the lay-flat nature of spiral-bound journals, which I find especially useful for projects entailing frequent jottings and everyday writing. And so I’ve become a great fan of my spiral-bound journals.
They aren’t simply blank journals though. They are collections of ephemera, of interesting quotes, bits of poetry, and curious things I’ve printed out; of pictures that intrigue me and cards and notes I’ve received, bits and samples of interesting paper and strange envelopes; an assortment of colors and patterns and words. I gather all these things like a well-trained magpie and simply set them aside, filling a drawer with a paper nest of treasures.
Then I spend a delightful few hours and assemble things, more randomly than intentionally, because I truly enjoy seeing what magic and synchronicities will unfold. There is plenty of blank space available to write on, truly allowing them to be used as journals, but what I love most is allowing what words or images are already there to inspire what I write about. It didn’t occur to me until this weekend’s binding session that I’ve come to think of these as inspiration journals.
I’ve become quite curious about what inspires each of us, and also how we each uniquely work with that inspiration. I think I’m late in my understanding of how VASTLY different we all are, both in our essence and our processes. In a sense I think I’m talking about something much broader than inspiration though – I feel like I’m teetering on a new understanding of exactly HOW different each one of us truly is.
It’s kind of like I’ve stepped it up to another level – to a higher broader perspective, where differences become so much clearer, which makes it all the more exciting, because I also see there are truly no separations at all. It’s all folded back into one, into unity. The balance point of paradox that explodes the mind in fabulously delightful ways.
I suspect that doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ve felt that a lot lately – that I can’t find the words to describe things very cogently. Sometimes I have to keep circling something, looking at it from different angles, looking for connections, finding nexus points, or searching for that obscure footnote or marginalia in an arcane work that hints at what direction I might need to turn in the rabbit hole I’ve fallen down. Only then, after extensive examination and re-examination, do I seem to be able to express myself with greater clarity. I feel like that’s the story of my life right now – I’m in a phase where words haven’t caught up yet.
I’ve started claiming making connections as one of my super powers. Not in the mundane sense of introducing people to one another – heaven knows that would require a far more social disposition than I possess. But rather the way all things CAN be connected, a bit like the fascinating 6-degrees-of-separation game.
I used believe that everyone could see this the way I did – they just didn’t think it was interesting or worth talking about. But I’ve come to understand lots of people don’t see connections, and I’ve wondered then why it is I do. Frankly, why isn’t really important, and I doubt if it’s even an interesting question to ask. But I think I honed the skill considerably over the years because I don’t ever seem to be able to travel in a straight path. Meander is my middle name. Years ago I was delighted when someone pointed out that this was perhaps a Cancerian trait – that crabs siddle up to things – and I saw that so clearly in myself. I took great relief and comfort in that, making ordinary and normalizing something that always made me feel a bit freakish. But these days, I’m understanding my non-straight path as much more clearly traveling a spiral. I revisit things, and each time I do, I discover something different.
Of course, this is what we all do, or at least strive to I think. I don’t believe any of us wants to remain stagnant in our thoughts or understanding. We want to bring what we are in the now moment, the accumulation of all the wisdom and experience we’ve gathered, to the table. That’s the excitement of showing up for our lives.
Still, I hold the adeptness of conscious connection with some level of interest and remain curious about it. I think perhaps if I had to somehow support myself with this skill, it might serve me well as a museum/exhibition curator. I like to think I see the world as the most fabulous Wunderkammen or Cabinet of Curiosities, so I would delight in imagining I curate my own personal life as such.
Which in a sense is what my inspiration journals are. Seemingly unrelated things that intrigue me and beckon me to dig deeper; to look with fresh eyes; to observe and interact and allow myself to be continually beckoned down this spiraling path, celebrating uniqueness and recognizing the myriad of ways everything is truly connected. Who could ask for more than that?