This week in SoulSpace group we’ve been focused on releasing. I’ve been tackling this in hour increments and I’ve managed a lot of drawers and cabinets and some cursory closet go-overs. But the main area of focus for me is the seemingly ENDLESS papers. I’ve been a purging maniac and it feels great, but there’s still lots to do and I have that annoying understanding that this isn’t a fix-it-once problem for me. I have to remember paper control is a maintenance kind of job, and I have to figure better systems.
On the minus side, things always seem hugely more messy and unsettled before things get better, and alas I’m in that unpleasant stage right now. On the plus side figuring out new systems always requires a look at the current systems, and in doing so I’ve been looking at my journal storage and how I might want to tweak it. And as I’m moving things around, I stumbled upon a couple of fabulous and forgotten gems – one of them filled with random inspirations. It was like seeing an x-ray of my brain – exploding with color and oddities and strange little enthusiasms. I find it hilarious that I can find myself so delighted by things I’d forgotten. And it makes me smile even more knowing that I’ve conjured up a little magic here – which is exactly what I’m calling forth this year with my guiding word.
Tucked in the re-discovered journal was an envelope. It took me a minute to recognize what it was, but it came to me. Every year I tape in a large envelope in the back of my new We’Moon datebook and as little snippets of things, found ephemera or fabulous words come to me I stick them in the envelope. At some point these things find a more suitable spot, but apparently that year I just kept them in that envelope and when it came time to retire the datebook, I simply removed the filled envelope and stuck it in the journal.
What an interesting peek into that year. Some of it came rushing back to me, like the sweet prayer blessing I recited to a beloved cat when she was dying. Actually there were a number of little prayers tucked into that envelope – it was a year of navigating a lot of losses and I seemed to be drawn to some less than uplifting prose such as “unforgiving scowls she gave through terrifying, ticking silence” and “an agony past all correction.” But to be sure such gloominess was countered by the strange carrot person I drew with wacky thought bubble conversations; the slip of paper saying “you are a miracle” that a friend used to enclose in every package sent; some musing about clouds; and a little slip of paper documenting the meaning of a piece of art I purchased – a small terra cotta house god from Southwest Cameroon.
All these things were just a few items in an envelope within the bigger context of a journal filled with other things. And it has me thinking about how precious and full my life is, even though I daresay it likely must seem a quite modest life when viewed from the outside. But it feels rich inside. And I see how each of the things I’ve wondered about, each of the things I’ve treasured, each of the places that have rubbed me into a smooth polish have made me who I am. I kind of like knowing that.
And I like my journals where I capture some of my thoughts and enthusiasms and curiosities – letting them be the holders so my brain is freed up to discover other delights. And then years later, or perhaps shorter spans of time marked in days, I can return and smile, reading and remembering, rediscovering and re-delighting. How does it get better than that?
Here’s a peek at one of the several areas I keep my journals. It needs a bit of work for this SoulSpace project but it’s a perfect example of what I love – little containers filled with treasures. We may be doing releasing this week, but no one will ever be able to accuse me of being a minimalist.
What about you? Ever surprised by things you find? Have a journal collection? A crazy treasure collector like me, or a Zen minimalist? Do tell – you know I love to hear.