Why Journal?

Why keep a Journal, like I have for the greater part of my Life? Why go to the trouble, you might ask?

Well I might ask the same question — and my answer remains the same.

I Journal because I MUST!



My Aunt Dorothea sews. She’s eightysomething and still sews! Everyone knows that she sews. Place mats, tea cozies, quilts, dolls, dresses. She has a nifty sewing room filled with fabrics and threads, neatly organized by varying hues . . .

She has an industrial sewing machine.

She’s always working on something.

Why does she sew? Turns out Dorothea MUST sew! It’s her passion of all these years (along with cooking and baking)

It’s her identity.

One day, years ago, I asked Dorothea if she ever gets mad sewing — “No,” she said, “it relaxes me.”

I told her about how I’ve sewn through the years (heck, when I was 19 I sewed my own house! An 18′ Sioux Indian Tipi that I lived in, on-and-off, for seven years…)

But I always end up frustrated and angry when I sew!!!

Her response: “Then you shouldn’t sew!


I expected a reprimand, a lecture about how important sewing is and why I need to overcome my inadequacies.

Instead I received: Wisdom. Freedom. True liberation!

Since then I’ve taken Dorothea’s advice, and other than a few rips or lost buttons, I DON’T SEW!



Now, do I get frustrated Journaling?


Oftentimes my fingers mess up on the keyboard and the words come out all wrong.

My pinky accidentally hits some button and the computer flashes, demanding that I do something, now. I keep hitting the = key instead of the – key, and have to go back and correct it . . .

In my handwritten Journal, my pen sputters or runs dry, something spills on the page, I misplace my book . . .

But do these frustrations stop me from Journaling?

No! They are mere trifles along the way.

The vast feeling of freedom I get from Journaling dwarfs the stupid frustrations. The overall effect trumps the mere process.

It’s a feeling of satisfaction, a cleanliness comparable to Confession. It’s how I order my world, steer my boat.


Like Dorothea, I have a special room, and in it a special shelf filled with beautiful, tattered Journal books of all shapes, colors and sizes, labeled and ordered chronologically for a moment’s retrieval.

Across from the shelf is a special drawer brimming with shiny, colorful new Journals, waiting, like Dorothea’s fabric, to be chosen and shaped and sewn into a new creation.

(And then there are my computer Journals, safely (?) backed up for posterity.)

We all have special gifts, special passions. Dorothea sews. I Journal.

It’s not so important what we are passionate about, but that we participate in the passion we are drawn to.

Just DO IT! That’s what makes the difference.


We live in an ephemeral world. Nothing is what it seems. We go one way in Life, and actually we are working in four different directions.

My Journals are more than ink and paper. My Journals are filled with memory and emotion, angst and relief. The process of Life and how I’ve grown from it…

As I hold in my hand the tea cozy Dorothea sewed for me, years ago, I realize: This, too, is more than cotton and dye.

This fabric holds Dorothea’s memory and emotion. It’s her process in life and how she’s grown from it.

It’s her expression, her gift.

And I treasure it!


Saint Francis statue


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Copyright 2013

2 thoughts on “Why Journal?

  1. Kathleen

    oh Dawn……we all must find our gifts and passions and seek to fullfill them on our journey of life. Beautiful….keep writing, keep loving…….i can’t wait to see what follows…………..



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