notebooks, art and healing

 my friend m. reminded me that i have a lot to process these days. that i don’t have to have it all figured out. can i just say…i am a fan of pre-processing. lol. which does me absolutely no good…my goal these day is to try to stay present. maybe that is why i keep writing about it all.  i don’t want the thoughts to control me ( but i do want to allow them and contemplate on things). it’s part of my processing and i have to access constantly whether i am being healthy (for me) in my healing journey. i really need to stay the course these days. it sounds like i am being a task master. i am not i just *know my mind.

anyways, art is a wonderful tool for connecting with flow, the mind and the heart and the present moment. i have been working in my one book july notebook and loving it. i usually do the arting part of the spreads first and then go back and add the words. sometimes the serendipitous timing of the two is so amazing. the content of the spreads is deeply personal, so most will never see the internets unless i (eventually) do a very fast flip through.

i recently got some denik notebooks which are gorgeous. they have smooth 120 lb paper. so they are not watercolor papers but can take some watercolor ( i mean anything can theoretically take watercolor but may crinkle or rip). the paper is smooth and very similar to the paper in my ranger dysillsions notebooks. i am using one as (mostly) a place for botanical line drawing. the other one, not pictured, i am thinking i might use as a spiritual journal.

you see, before all this life throwing lemons and salt situations, i started reading my bible again after a long exile from it. i mean, i read it with my church, when we managed to wake up and go, but not on my own. i use to do morning reading out of “my book of common prayer” but since we are not going to an Episcopal church right now it feels weird and lonely to read it. that later part is probably just in my head.

we go to a church (another mainline one) that services are almost so similar to the Episcopal one it’s uncanny. the reason we go to it and not the Episcopal church is that it’s really central in our neighborhood and literally just down the street ( a walk-able distance).  It’s very similar in message or i would not go. I am at that point where i can’t fit myself into a little tiny religious box…it kills my soul. maybe one day, i will write about recovering from church trauma or share my spiritual autobiography some.

all this to say, i think i will be using this to muse about spiritual things which include, prayers, spiritual text (including the Christian bible) and church but are definitely not limited to that.  there is likely to me so musing about yoga and books in there, too. some people don’t like the latter ( but this is not their life and i don’t need religious polices two or ten cents) but give me yoga and Jesus any day. maybe i will write about that one day, too.

i have some notebooks that got taken out the mix. i love my handbooks and my magazine journals and i work in them from time-to time but just not these days. i also have a large (A3) moleskine watercolor notebookand strathmore artjournals  (in various sizes and paper thickness) that i heart but am not using this month.

these days, i am trying to keep things small and manageable. for a notebook and journaling lover this hard. i have a little table under my desk…maybe i will show that setup soon…that had a bunch of my journals ( that i hope to go back to). I do think journals and sketchbooks are very similar to planners, you have to kiss a few frogs and sometimes, it’s just not the right season for that particular notebook.

speaking of planners. i recently got another one. my last one, the get to work book, ended in july. i like that planner but it was too much for me. i needed something even more simple. i am using this one as a bullet journal, of sorts. it’s nothing fancy. no pretty spreads. just trying to keep track of all the things and not lug around a massive planner or spend loads of time in it. once, i feel that my approach is somewhat working…maybe i will share.

anyways, so i am simplifying a little bit on the notebook front. i wish i could say the say for my tools but i am just not a minimalist when it comes to art things. i would not say i was one , in any regard. i am about living simply, responsibly and lovely. that is pretty personal, i think and for me, includes a ridiculous amount of paint and lots of notebooks. that may or may not work for others.

however, at this time, i am so thankful for paint and notebooks. it feels good to create when your mind and/or heart is heavy. it doesn’t solve all the problems but it does help the conversation. healing is a process and art is a good buddy to it.



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