Project Friday: Revisiting and Looking Deeper

September 28, 2012

Today's Project Friday is not only about revisiting (places, emotions, people, things) but about revisiting a post: Return Visits—Travel Destinations You Capture in More Than One Journal.

While locating something else on my blog the other day this post came up. It struck me that here I was at the end of another summer and the thoughts expressed in this post from June 14, 2010 were back in my mind. 

I was not only thinking about places, but also about people, as one of the people I most closely connect with my time in Grand Marais died in August. Without maudlin nostalgia or regret (as I mention in that post) I'm able to think back and recall that time and how friendships have changed and grown, all because of things captured in my visual journal.

And I found, as I said in my earlier post, time to look at my world with a fresh eye. It's time to make new plans and this is a helpful process.

So for today's Project Friday I suggest that you read my post on Return Visits. Follow through on the suggestions at the end of that post about taking time to look at your world with a fresh eye and plan a trip to a place you've been before.

You might only have started journaling two weeks ago, or 5 days ago, but there is something in your journaling life even then to which you can return.

Perhaps you went to the zoo two days ago. Go back now and sketch at least one of the same animals, noting something new about that animal. Maybe you have been sketching flowers in your garden as the fall weather strips them away (or spring brings in new life—depending on which hemisphere you live in). Either way you will find that a second look is valuable. And you will be getting more practice under your belt. That's the key to a lifetime habit of journaling.

It's also valuable in jump starting your questing mind and engaging that fresh eye. A new journaling habit will be enhanced and invigorated by this exercise. You'll find new energy to keep going. You'll find less dependence on external prompts and pushes. The questions of "what shall I draw?" "what matters to me now?" "what do I see," will become as simple to answer as following your attention.

If you have a long-standing journaling habit you will have more choices for your revisitation. You might even have a location that is a day trip away that you have already captured in your journal. Perhaps it's time to return.

Today's Project Friday is also a great way to silence your internal critic. Remind him that you are going back for more practice, another look, another attempt. Nothing has to be perfect. You can play (yes play, which means you can make a mess) with ideas of design and page composition, with use of color or a new medium.

Pick something that you can reexamine today or over the weekend and dive into this project. DIscover where you are going, how you have already changed. Get the first inklings of where a new plan might take you or touch your gratitude for the wonderful experiences you've been given in life—we've all had them, even if you feel you sometimes have to dig down to recall one. Focus on it. Use journaling to bring more recognition of that gratitude into your daily life.

Note: This exercise is also a great way to discover what might become a "series" for you over the long life of visual journaling you have in front of you. Enjoy the adventure. 

    • Cate in Dundee
    • September 29, 2012

    Roz, I’m retiring from teaching school next Friday and have been thinking much about ways forward into the next big adventure (which I hope will involve much walking and daily splashing of paint! haha). At this stage in life in particular, it seems to me that looking forward necessarily involves looking back—as you say, revisiting and looking deeper. This post is a timely (for me), brilliant—and as always with you, eminently practical—summary of all the things I need to keep in mind. Again, and again, thank you for your wise, sensible, and inspiring counsel.

  1. Reply

    Cate, big change in your life. Congratulations on going forth in a new adventure. I hope that you get to do everything you want to do, especially the painting bit. I’m glad you found the post helpful. I hope the looking deeper you do gives you all sorts of insights for new projects and explorations now that you’ll not be teaching.

    You know me, my advice is always, “keep good notes”!

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