Thursday, June 14, 2012

Genius Journeys

To read more about this project:

Day 1 with Traveler's Aid:
Why am I here?
The assignment is to write for 2 minutes with the prompt, "I am here to...".
But now the conversation has broken up into 5 pieces. And their attention wains. 
One kid just calls another one dirty.  
"Did you know that putting people down is usually a sign that you're not feeling so good about yourself?" I tell him kindly and he seems to be thinking it over.  

I am here to...

No one is writing.  Some legs are dancing in a chair and some arms are popping and locking.  
"Sometimes," I blurt out, "I'm really jealous of dance teachers." This stops their conversation momentarily. 
A dozen mouths ask why.

"Because teaching writing can be torture sometimes." I admit to them.  
I can't (or maybe I just won't) give it to them with gimmicks.  We have only our brains, our pencils, and the possibilities in all these blank lines. 

"Why do you do it then?" someone asks.  

There's joy in writing. I know there is... but like dancing, writing takes the discipline of exercises that are sometimes painful and sometimes tedious.  It takes private ritual away from an audience.  Only then, is there joy in the journey; there is freedom; writing can be flight. I don't tell them this. I haven't yet found the words... but I can show them if they just walk with me across the page for a little while.

I am here to...

"Because it's important" ...I tell them "it's a magic trick that will get you through a rough spot.  If you can write yourself to where you want to be.  If you could know yourself so well, and be your own best friend.  You could find answers and questions.  You can cry and complain and finally maybe figure it out.  You can be you. Really you. A genius on the page. 

There are times when I don't consider myself a writer because most of what I write isn't for public consumption. Although sometimes I think there might be something there.  In the past year, writing has become a hobby, an obsession.  Lists, long lists and schedules and plans and notes and recipes, facts, impressions, doodles all in a flurry.  There might be something provocative, attractive and uncomfortably interesting about viewing such intimate material.  
The technique is inspired by spiritual rituals, Mark Levy's Private Writing, Julia Cameron's morning pages, and Leonardo Davinci's famous notebooks.  Using writing as a tool to access your higher vibrations, to clean out your subconscious mind, to meditate.  Creative Teacher Julia Cameron sees the process of private writing as a connection to a higher power.  Mark Levy lays out a technique for approaching your journaling that can be rapturous if continually practiced.   The Journal, then becomes like a temple and inside it we meet our God and ultimately our deepest selves.

I am here to...

A Gallery of my handmade notebooks coming soon...

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