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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Journal With Impact: Nature

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“The act of recording a life, in healthy solitude and active connection to a loved terrain, is also the act of creating a life.” Hannah Hinchman

Nature Journals—Language

Art, music, and imagery can become a separate language of communication. So too does nature. It is a language that speaks to us, by personally touching our hearts and souls with meaning, and also by allowing us to share across time and culture with others. Nature as reflection builds a bridge of communication that gives us soul-to-soul threads of understanding.

Their images provide illustrations to our past and our present with strangers and friends, as we paint words with pictures and sensory description through writing, or share our images silently in drawings and photographs.

Here are a few examples. 

In her book, This Same Sky, Naomi Shihab Nye shares poems from around the world; this excerpt is by Kwang-kyu Kim in South Korea, translation by Brother Anthony.

The Land of Mists

“In the land of mists
always shrouded in mist
nothing ever happens
And if something happens
nothing can be seen
because of the mist
for if you live in mist
you get accustomed to mist
so you don’t try to see
Therefore in the land of mists
you should not try to see
you have to hear things
for if you don’t hear you can’t live
so ears keep on growing
People like rabbits
with ears of white mist
Iive in the land of mists.”

As a child I spent many summers visiting my aunt at a lake in northern Ontario, Canada. At least once or twice each summer we would get a raging storm over the lake unlike anything I would ever experience in the city. There were no hard copy photographs for me to look at when I grew older, but as I re-saw the storms in my memory I was able to see it again and capture it for myself in a poem.
The Storm, by marcy weydemuller
Gloom black sky,
thick hard rain,
the lake invisible.

Until lightning
ripped above.
Then we could see
bending trees,
churning waves
wrestled the storm.

Awestruck, we
returned to dark

Action Steps:

1. What images or emotions do you identify with in either of these nature snapshots? What memories do they bring up from your own experience in a particular setting? Write that scene up in your journal.

2. Then write, “today I wish I could go to the woods, meadow, ocean, forest, lake, mountain or… because…….. .”     

Share: Why does that habitat of nature appeal to you the most?

Read deep, marcy

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