Journal without a Writer

The hardbound journal was in my hands before I realized what I was doing. I opened it unprepared for what I would find: nothing. The pages were blank. How many years had it waited for me on the shelf? I could either count years or sit down and become part of the experience of pen meeting paper. Pen and paper seemed to need each other. What about me? I was afraid to get into trouble with subjective facts. Where did that come from? This question surprised me since my fear could come from only one place: inside of me. A memory of a frustrating journal writing experience came to me, as if from a previous lifetime. I’d attempted to do the impossible. The memory became clearer. I’d filled a few pages with free associations, with the hope, or maybe with the expectation, that I would remember something meaningful. I’d attempted to control the writing process. In the present, my mind felt emptier when paper and pen (I’d intended to write pen first, and then paper said, “I’m first”) started imagining together, and these sentences of journal writing appeared, one image and word at a time. Perhaps the feeling of emptiness originated when I would write in my journal without thinking. I loved to free-associate in my journals, and I realized that I’d forgotten how often I used to write in one. Meaningful memories had come to me in my journals, always as a surprise, when my conscious mind had least expected it. There were no longer only blank pages in my hardbound journal. A writing future was in it. Was there a writer in that future?

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