"Take this stroll through life; take a pencil as a walking stick."
-Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge
We walk the dog, most days. We walk and talk, the son and I, about his Civil Air Patrol experiences, about the latest book he is reading, about news clips and how it will affect us, or not. Or, we just walk and gaze at the mountains, the space around us, the sky - if there is the sound of a plane or jet or helicopter, he looks until he spots it in the wide expanse of sky. The dog, she loves to get out, especially in the two open fields where we can let her off leash and she bounds around us. Blind, she bounds ahead and then back to make sure she knows where we are, staying on the familiar gravel of the path, feeling her way along, sensing somehow when it is time to turn back toward the road home, time to clip on her leash.
For me, the walk is a good time to clear my head. Release the tensions. To not think about what needs to be done back at home; instead, to absorb the space and the sky and soar with the birds.
Our daughter sent me this quote from The Slight Edge, a book we have both read, about motivation and working toward our goals, little steps at a time. She commented, "You don't have to draw life, you can write it out. Cameras can't catch how you feel when you see something picture worthy."
The art of keeping a journal starts with the art of capturing our feelings, our responses to the life happening around us. Sometimes, I need to set aside the pen, the camera, the computer and pay attention to what is going on in the people, the sky, the animals, the plants around me. Pay attention to how I feel.
Pick up that pencil walking stick: walk, talk, breathe, look and see, really see what is around you. Then, there will be words to express the feelings, the scenes, the events of daily life.