50 years of journals, stacked on the table, for a last goodbye. These books, each its own little work of art, represent the ear of my spirit. Each was a safe box into which I poured my heart. Today I speak, not to the page, not in ink, but to the living presence expressed through these pages. That is to say: I speak to the author of my life—
I didn’t know if it was love at first sight when I met you because I didn’t know what love was at such a tender age. I don’t know when the familiar intimacy of hand and pen and page somehow became so natural that it was as if you were an open channel for my heart. You never wavered in your love for that hidden part of me, the one that thrives on an inner landscape, that can become a cricket crying out for love, an oak tree standing firm in the summer heat, a fig leaf falling gently to the ground, or the gurgling sound of flowing water over rock, the whistling invitation of the wind through an open window, or the sky embracing it all with motherly intent. You took me in like no other lover, tracing the spaces truth occupies between the lines with such delicious delicacy while tutoring me in the ways of love between the sheets.
You gave me endless space, wide open fields of play, a secret staging area for my dreams and dramas, a laboratory for my wild imagination. You showed me magnificent vistas overlooking strange and alien worlds. You lent your loving ear in equal measure to my trivia, my pettiness, my foolishness, and my righteousness; as well as to my innocence, my insight, my excellence, my depth, my humor, and my dignity. You gave your soil to my seed no matter what I spilled onto the page.
I wrote this letter to myself as part of my ritual of gratitude for my journals. It describes how I might relate to them as I go through the Konmari Method of tidying up. the life changing process of keeping what sparks joy and arranging my life around what I love. I have kept a journal with relative consistency since my senior year of high school. Once completed, I never re-read them. I recently piled 50 years of journals on my dining table as part of Marie Kondo’s tidying up process. I was ready to toss them all out. But, as I began flipping through the pages, I discovered some stories and poems I want to keep. So, I decided to organize them. I have set aside a bookcase in my garage for them. This is my new someday plan: to go through each one and take pictures of the old stories, poems, and precious bits I want to keep.
And you kept it all, every precious little secret, coded in these treasure boxes. I am deeply grateful for these record books, for what they captured in the moment, what they gave voice to in my life, what they pleaded for from my heart, what they answered in my inquisitive mind, and for the doors they opened and the doors they closed, for the troubles they navigated and the changes they made possible.
But now, I am talking to you, the author of my life, the one who sits outside these piled pages. We no longer need these books between us. We can take, from this work, a history of loving moments and let that be the foundation for our future thriving. Just like the spoken word leaves the mouth and disappears, I let these pages go back to the source and I thank you, my mentor, my muse, my magic harp and angel wings. You, my story queen! I thank you for your loyalty, your courage, your inspiration, and all the beauty you bring to my life. I am, and will always be, forever yours.
© Nick LeForce
All Right Reserved
Do you keep a journal? If so, what do you do with it once it is complete?
How do you preserve what is precious in your heart?
Please share your thought and comments below.