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.

write now

journaling It was the most amazing, powerful, insightful, fabulous Yoga and Creative Journaling Workshop for Women, well, ever! We got your Crow, your Eagle, your Down Dog. Plus, we got your expository writing to not only knock off any proverbial socks, but to actually take you to that place you’ve always wanted to go but didn’t quite know the way. Yeah, it was like that.  And just to prove it, here is a little creative journaling sample:  I

n my tribe I am  loved, appreciated, and seen. There is no apology no room for shame, for what-ifs, if-onlys, no be seen not heards. This is a party palace, baby! This is where I am the celebrated and the celebration. I am the fireworks and the parade! But wait —  is this the same as hunkering down with syrupy sychophants? Oh, no my dear. My tribe both supports me and calls me on my philosophical slight of hand, my fancy emotional tap-dancy work. My tribe loves music and animals and sustainable living. It appreciates beauty, even the most imperfect beauty. This is a tribe of passion and compassion. This tribe has good taste and isn’t afraid to use it. Oh, Tribe of my dreams, I would climb into your mouth and sleep in the shadow of your teeth. I would brush your hair 100 strokes before tucking you in for the night. I would make you hot chocolate from scratch with baby marshmallows for breakfast and I would cut all the crusts off of every piece of toast in the world for you. My tribe speaks like a Windigo from Love Medicine. My tribe has eyes so deep you could drown in them. Namaste, peeps! — Cynthia G.