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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Journal With Impact: Nature Identify

Workshop: Six Conversations for Writing Creative Journals

“Journaling from the events of daily life does not mean simply keeping a log or diary of who we saw and what we did each day. It means, rather, writing down the experiences that have affected our soul in a particular way.”   Anne Broyles

Identify what inspires you through nature.

Here is one view—one day—one experience—that had the ability to capture a whole inspiration as Rainer Maria Rilke offers up a prayer from the land that carries across the centuries of time.


            “The leaves are falling, falling as if from far off,
            as if in the distance heavens gardens withered;
they fall with gestures that say, ‘no.’           

And in the nights the heavy earth falls
from all the stars into aloneness.

We are all falling. This hand is falling.
And look at the others: it is in them all.

And yet there is One who holds this falling
with infinite softness in his hands.”

Just as a reflective journal helps connect you to your daily life from a variety of views, so too can a nature journal be approached either randomly, or while trying to study a particular concept, and then go deeper into certain aspects.

One creative writing exercise, often known as the index or table of contents, works well with nature journals to grasp an initial overview to start from. The idea is to make a list of about 20 to 30 ideas or subjects of your choice. A list of potential titles works well too. Do it quickly under a timer to help keep your critical thinking set aside. Try five or ten minutes. One time after I put together a mock index of things I’d like to read/write/study I discovered to my great surprise that 22 out of 25 topics were all nature related.

Below are some headings Hannah Hinchman used in A Trail Through Leaves.
Feeling It In Your Bones
The Power of the Ordinary
The Flow Of Attention
Seeing Order Seeing Chaos
Unmeasureable Phenomena

Action Steps:

1. Make a table of contents list from one particular season and write down as many nature memories you can think of. It can be in a specific season one year or a general overview of memories over the years.

2. Then expand each one with concrete details. For example: Did it rain one whole week? What did it sound like—list all the other characteristics you remember as well.

3. Now go back to the description exercise and choose five episodes from your list above that affected you either positively or negatively. Now write them up in descriptive detail.

Share: Which season most captured your heart?

Read deep, marcy

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