Scrapjournaling and Soul Exploration
Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Keri Smith has a great exercise in Living Out Loud in which you get a box and start a clipping file of anything that interests you. After a while you look through it and notice any themes - what are you exploring, what are you paying attention to? This is similar to Sharon Blackie’s idea of the imaginarium - starting to attend to and gather the myths, stories, heroes and heroines, images, colors, symbols that resonate with you.
I started a similar practice during the pandemic. I called it scrapjournaling. In 2020 my journal was entitled “Journal of Plague Year” after Defoe’s book about the Bubonic plague. I noticed the things that got my attention - what gave me hope, what made me cry (there was plenty), who inspired me and what they were doing - and I snipped and pasted these pictures, articles and quotes into a composition book.
I’ve kept going with this practice into 2021. It’s evolving as I go, but I notice themes developing and images that resonate with me over and over.
I’ve also fallen hard for Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. I got the color version of the book after I watched Melanie Sullivan’s flip-through. I don’t follow all of Keri Smith’s prompts exactly, but I find the book is such a great prompt in itself. It prompts me to get creative and to pay attention to everything from the patterns inside security envelopes to the color pink. Again, it’s a way for me to notice what images, colors, ideas attract me and to have fun in a messy, imperfect, low-pressure way.
My Natural Dreamwork practitioner Keren Vishny wrote on her website, “The world of Soul is the world of sensation, feeling, connection, creativity and Divinity.” I think scrapjournaling and Wreck This Journal offer a way to engage with sensation, feeling, connection, creativity and Divinity, the world of Soul.
I just got Diane Keaton’s memoir Then Again from the thrift store. I got it primarily because I opened to a page of color photos of Diane Keaton’s mother's journals - collaged, messy, aged and absolutely wondrous. Then I flipped to a page about Warren Beatty who would “look askance at one of my collages and say, ‘You’re a movie star. That’s what you wanted. You got it. Now deal with it. What is all this art stuff going to get you anyway?’” I hope she had a feisty response that involved making lots more collages and continuing to explore what it gave her, which may have been, I think, her self and her Soul.