I was introduced to keeping journals in my primary school, but from the very beginning I kept a public journal and a private one.
My public journal was full of tales of excursions, interesting food and the mundane things of everyday life. My private journal was where I poured out where I felt about the world, family, my annoying brothers and how I was getting along, or not getting along with my parents.
Teenagers. I remember the intensity of my teenage self, writing page upon page as if her life depended on it.
I didn’t keep these journals – they felt like excess baggage when I left home and I destroyed them. I wanted to move on into adult hood unencumbered by my childhood writings. It makes me sad to think I threw my childhood and teenage written self out, how fascinating it would be to meet these two beings today and see what they were truly like.
I do remember some of my entries though. I would write in ‘purple’ language inspired by Prince and the album ‘Purple Rain’which a friend of mine was into. I didn’t actually own the albums just listened to them at her house. I wrote in shades of purple pen and used abbreviations similiar to text speak, and littered with hearts.
I would count the number of times my favourite crush looked at me, as it this all held some deeper meaning. What a funny thing I was, but I suppose many girls do this.
Sometimes I would write of my dreams for the future – mostly I remember wanting to be a writer and own a typewriter – this was before the advent of laptops.
Today I keep a blog, and a notebook journal. I still like to feel the pen scrawling across paper.
My spaces are private and public. I keep some of what I feel to myself but often share what is private because I feel it will help someone somewhere with their journey.
So I write about dealing with life, small towns, parenting, and every now and then undertake ‘research’ either from observation, history, travel or other books.
Sometimes I write songs, and they are a mix of private and public experiences. Yet I don’t always have to live in my own experience, because sometimes it is good to imagine beyond.
This is why writing ‘fantasy’ interests me. Here I can be inventor of worlds, people and events, create symmetry and explore all that interests me. It is not important for the reader to understand me, but more that they can inhabit the world that comes into being in this kind of writing.
Sometimes a break from the ‘self’of writing in autobiography is a very welcome writing space. Here I am the little girl walking on the wall not merely pretending to be Joan of Arc but actually being here in a speculative fiction piece where she walks around my neighbourhood looking for a cause.
So there you have met the beginnings of my journal, imaginary, private and public. Today I mix these writing palettes and add to it multimedia and cyberspace. I hang onto my written creations, and file them, box them, disk them, and return to them. Every now and then I discover or am given childhood writings. My Dad saved a poetry collection from my childhood and gave me the exercise book full of handwritten and typed poems. I enjoyed meeting my childhood and adolescent writing self.
My imagination conjures these two beings and reexamines the lost pages until the journals appear in front of me. I can still open those pages because I am the one who lived the life that wrote them.
Today photography plays an important part in my journaling.
…to be continued
(c) All rights reserved, June Perkins.