I carry a notebook with me wherever I go, to catch any whispers, insights, or images that inspire me throughout the day. In Piero Ferruci’s book, “Beauty and the Soul,” He suggests keeping a diary of beauty, and I love what he says: “Journaling in this way activates our aesthetic awareness and creates an aesthetic field, an inner space where beauty is not just a possible encounter but a close friend.” It’s through the practice of taking notes, and in a way conversing with the day, that I feel a deeper intimacy with the sacred. Yes, Beauty becomes a close friend, as is my sense of soul.
Every few years I realize that it is “harvest time.” I come to a moment when I am committed, not just to taking notes, but to bringing a writing project into being. Today is such a day. I’ve dumped my most recent dozens of journals with the last few years of scribbles and notes into a pile… and must begin to sift through. It is time to re-read, discover how often I repeat myself on various themes, and circle the passages that speak to me now as a reader. The more distance, I find, the better.
I’m looking for anything and everything on “Befriending the Soul,” as well as any poems or passages on Joy, both the high, mystical experience of joy as a sense of oneness and belonging, but also the ordinary joy of being… both body and soul joy- both human and holy.
This harvesting is like weeding a garden to uncover the flowers (so many weeds! so many flowers!)- and so much like a treasure hunt. I have to get through the grocery lists, notes to self… the “what I would be writing if only I were writing” pages… you’d think that after producing 2 albums of songs and nearly 20 books, I would be over that…
Sometimes,( and this is what I love,) I find passages that were written as if by someone so much wiser than I am- as if I were just quickly taking notes- receiving insights through my pen. I’m grateful for these. These passages usually happen when I have emptied my mind on a walk somewhere.
Sometimes there are poems, sometimes there are pages that speak to me, though I hardly know what to do with them…
It’s quite the challenge- deciphering the mysteries,… determining the difference between gibberish nonsense and something a little bit better… searching for what is beautiful, nourishing and true. I’m still not sure about that page above- it’s amusing… it’s clever…. but is it anything more?