Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tuning In...

Yesterday, I went to a course at The Fountain Project, the centre that runs the art group I've been going to. It was called 'Tuning In' and was an introduction to keeping a journal. It sounds bizarre, I know but it was compelling stuff.

It was run by Aileen La Tourette, an American writer who just happens to have been one of my Creative Writing tutors at University (it's a small world!). She basically explained to us the benefits of keeping a journal, the ways in which it allows us to gain more perspective on our lives and develop insight into our emotions and the way we act on them. 

We talked about the uses of journals: using them to have a rant, using them to delve into our memories and figure out the things that have been bothering us, using them as a frame through which to view the world. 

I've kept journals before. Who hasn't? I think it's some kind of prerequisite for every teenage girl to have an angst filled notebook. There was a period of six months where I filled three or four thick notebooks with daily entries. This was about five years ago and I think it was probably the time I was closest to understanding myself and the things I was going through. Having that little private space, outside of and separate from my mind helped me to work through my problems.

I've tried to repeat that experience on several occasions in the last few years but it just never seems to work. I end up giving up just days after writing that first entry. I've tried to figure out why but I honestly don't think there's any profound reason why it happens. Maybe I just haven't been ready.

Anyway, after the course session yesterday, I feel inspired to begin documenting my personal journey again, reconstruct that personal, private space that was once so important to me.

But it's also got me thinking about a book I've read several times. The Diary of Anne Frank. We actually talked about it yesterday and read an extract. And now, all I can think about is re-visiting that old favourite. I already have three books on the go but I just can't resist... To be honest, I think reading it might help me gain some perspective on my own life. You know that old adage of there's always someone worse off than you? It's kind of like that. I think reading about Anne and her time in the annexe might make me realise that the things I'm going through right now aren't as world shattering as I think they are. Does that make sense?

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