Journal Camp: day 12

My Oldest Living Relative

My oldest living relative would by my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was one of four children, and she had nine babies with my uncle. As a reward for a life well lived, she is our matriarch. It is so strange to move inevitably closer to that category: the elder generation. The wise ones. The ones with institutional memory. Where do the stories go when the elders are gone? Does the narrative lose its bite? Do the family mythologies soften around the edges like a cherished photograph carried for years in a wallet? Perhaps family stories are like an image that over time fades until only the ghost of an persona remains.

Journal Camp, day nine

Stories I Tell Myself

  1. One more cup of coffee won’ hurt
  2. But I need these shoes
  3. That spider could bit me
  4. Once bitten, twice shy
  5. My roommate is an absent minded genius
  6. I will drink more water
  7. I will relax in traffic
  8. Traffic isn’t so bad
  9. I have the best commute in the world
  10. Other people do more
  11. She makes it look easy
  12. The world is falling apart
  13. The world is a shared hallucination
  14. Quantum physics
  15. My chakras need clearing
  16. I love it when it rains
  17. If I eat the tomatoes now, I can save the artichoke for later
  18. Its hot enough to go to the pool
  19. Ninety degrees is the minimum to make the pool a good idea
  20. Check windspeed
  21. Journal Camp is awesome
  22. Here I grow again
  23. This is my favorite summer in years
  24. Its never too late for a happy ending
  25. I am a creative genius
  26. We are all creative geniuses
  27. Hooray for creative geeks!
  28. I am grateful
  29. I could be more grateful, more often
  30. Wahoo!

Journal Camp: Day 7

My Mother’s Scent

She wore Chanel No. 5. On nights my parents went out, she drifted out the door on a cloud of deep musky-floral pheromones, an  accommodation of the sophistication she yearned for. Periodically, when we were old enough for them to leave the brood with a reliable steel-belted sitter for the weekend, they journeyed north to the Banff Springs Resort in British Columbia. There are photographs of them from one trip, souvenirs from a night club they had attended. My mother appears to be in her thirties, young, pretty, wearing a classic kind of Jackie O sheath dress. The photographer caught her smile and a sparkle in her eyes. She seemed happy then, and glamorous. I imagine that in that dress, in that club, she was enveloped in a cloud of Chanel No. 5. She later switched to a fragrance called Interlude – with the same base notes, a similar mysterious, musky presence. Other scents of my mother that I recall: Breck hair spray, spray starch, despair.

Journal Camp, Day 6

Relics in the Attic

There was an apartment in my grandmother’s house where an attic would have been. Up the staircase, there was a kitchenette, living room, bathroom with a clawfoot tub,  closet, bedroom, and screened porch. It was only used as often as we visited, arriving in a station wagon loaded with kids, luggage, and the detritus of a small tribe. The apartment smelled of dust and mothballs. It seemed enchanted somehow, a miniature house.  We had never seen an apartment and it held a special charm to me. The living room was by far the largest space, with an overstuffed sofa, braid rug, ancient radio cabinet that might have broadcast reports from a faraway war, a window that overlooked the backyard garden and Italian plum tree. When we descended after five hours on the road, children scattered like marbles on a linoleum floor. We touched every room at once: kitchen, pantry, back yard, cellar, upstairs apartment. We slept everywhere too, sofas made into bed with sheets and chenille spreads, screened porch and sleeping bags. Family legend maintains that my parents lived in the apartment their first year of marriage: playing house in an attic filled with relics of austerity.

Virtual Journaling Camp

Journal Camp (2)

Join me in July for a Virtual Journaling Camp! Journaling Campers will write for a minimum 15 minutes per day and in a month will have collected 31 pages of dazzling, original journaling prose.  Camper registration fee is $99. For this you get:

  1. 31 journaling prompts delivered to your inbox
  2. a signed copy of my book, Journaling As Sacred Practice: An Act of Extreme Bravery
  3. four video coaching sessions with award-winning author and coach, Cynthia Gregory
  4. access to a private FaceBook Group where you can post journal entries and share community with other Happy Campers

 

To register, email me at coach.cynthia.gregory@gmail.com

See you at camp!

journaling-sacred-cover-front-sm

six word story no. 126

Her world wobbled then resumed spinning.

wobble

Brought to you with stellar precision by Journaling as Sacred Practice: An Act of Extreme Bravery.  Available to Crafty Santas now on Amazon.