And so I began. I wrote down the details of the day and then as the summer wore on I would only write a word for each day, like sun or rain or beach. Then I would make a little drawing as a symbol for the day. I thought I was cheating, substituting pictures for words, and eventually I stopped. I wish I could reach back in time and encourage that 4th grade self to say: this is good; it is something; it is how you record the world; keep going.
I wish instead of seeing it as failure I could have seen it as the seed of an idea that required water and light and protection and general nurturing. There is no right way to keep a journal. I was not a good speller and my handwriting was messy so I would never have guessed that in time I would thrive on writing and the keeping of journals. My journals are like unfinished paintings still waiting for touches of definition. They provide harbors for scribbled vines of vision and memory. I will let the bumble bee fumble along the pages with the pollen of original thought, syntax, and energy.
and smelling of linseed and turpentine:
unfurling, their buds still tight,
look like paint brushes saturated
with ultramarine; buttercups
spatter the meadow with yellow.