And the Lord answered me:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV)
Write words. That is my mission statement. It’s simple, but full of potential. Writing gives me a way to process my thoughts. So, I keep a journal.
And since it’s Random Journal Day/Weekend, I thought I’d share some insights I have been recording in my journal, as a I read the book The Journal Keeper: A Memoir by Phyllis Theroux. To be honest, I cannot remember what prompted me to request this book from the library, but it has been a timely companion.
This book has been a comfort to me in so many ways. She writes about aging, how she relates to her grown children, her relationship with her mother, her small town experiences, and her writing journey. I find myself writing down quotes and noting books she mentions.
Today, as I wrote down one of her quotes about journals, I thought of our RJD community, and how keeping a journal searches our souls and gives us direction and hope.
Phyllis Theroux describes her relationship with her journal:
Rarely do I consult my soul without a prop like this pen and journal, which simultaneously obscures and preserves what emanates from within.
As I kept recording more of her words, like collecting shells at the beach, I thought maybe I needed to add her book to my collection.
As I pondered this desire to own her book, I entered these words into my journal:
I’m reading from a borrowed library book, which ” forces” me to respond to the book in my journal, rather than in the margins or with underlining and marks on the page. Of course, this makes me think I should buy my own copy, but would I ever read it again? Or is this an experience for now? A book chosen for me by the divine Librarian, for such a time as THIS.
As I read [her book] I want to write down all her references to other books, poems and authors. She makes me smile. I want to quote her, learn from her. To live in a smaller world–yet expand my imagination and travel more either in real life or through reading.
After I finished writing this entry, I flipped to the back of the book, I found that she added a Reading List, so I didn’t need to record the list in my journal after all.
This evening, I put her book down for awhile, so I could savor it more later. Instead, I decided to watch a movie that my sister recommended: The Book Thief. It’s strange how a book, a movie or a blog post can transport and connect us at the same time.
I knew that the movie would make me cry, but I was surprised by this one scene that moved me so deeply.
A German family hides a young man during World War II. The daughter and he discover their shared love of books and words.
For Christmas he gives her a gift. A re-purposed book, which he paints over the pages, so she can use it as a journal. She opens it to the first page, and a Hebrew word greets her. She asks him what does the word say. He replies, “Write.”
Tears caught in my throat, as I knew that this invitation to the young girl, was also a reminder from God, who has called me to write.
Words keep us alive. Words written, published, shared and read resonate with my soul and make me feel like I know the author, that I can relate to her struggles and her joys. Her insights become mine. Her reflections flesh out my inner musings over this season of life. Her words release my inner thoughts into words penned onto the page.
A book, a movie and RJD converge giving me a chance to fulfill my mission of writing words.
How has reading and writing impacted your life?
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