Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learning to Be Messy

I think I've reached a transitional time in my journaling (and my life.)  Looking back through my pages completed in the course of a year, I can easily see shifts in style, subject matter, focus.  And I am sort of delighted by where things are headed.

For as long as I can remember, I've longed to be a "messy journaler."  I look at the pages of Dina Wakely and Samantha Kira and simply sigh.  For me, messy journaling represents the ability to attain a certain state of mind, the ability to let go of the outcome and revel in the process.

I am a control freak.  I love and crave order (often obsessively so) and after years of contemplation (and therapy), I understand that my need for order is hardwired.  It is an essential part of who I am.  That doesn't mean I can't let loose here and there.  In fact, it is imperative that I do so.

I will always make neat, well-composed journal pages (and paintings and quilt objects and so forth.)  That is my personal comfort zone.  However, I want to flirt with danger as well.  Balance in all things means practicing the opposite of what makes you comfortable.  I need to go off the rails, blaze new paths, improvise, and make do.  I need to embrace the wonky, the misprinted, the accidental, the sloppy.  Because in reality, life isn't really about control; it's about hanging on during a wild ride, hoping for a soft landing.

The last couple of journal pages that I've done are a good beginning.  The composition is still pretty orderly but I feel the creative process is starting to relax a bit.  I'm kvetching over the outcome far less and spending less time choosing materials.  This "new me" is, as always, a work-in-progress but after years of being in a hard, dark place, I think I am finally coming up for air.  And my!  It smells so sweet!


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