I remember as a little girl keeping diaries and taking great care to make sure I hid them from prying eyes (my older sister). Horrified by the idea that she would learn my inner most thoughts – which less face it, at that age, it was probably me complaining about her or being the forgotten middle child (I will get over it someday…).
As an adult, I still keep a journal. I keep multiple journals, actually. I keep a journal to document memories that one day I might want to look back on. I keep a gratitude journal. For the past 9 months, I’ve kept a journal about my first pregnancy and last, but certainly not least, I keep a Zentangle journal.
I wish I had my Zentangle journals back when I was hiding my diaries from my sister because I’ve learned over the years that they are written in a language that only I understand. I can leave my Zentangle journal out for the world to see, I’ve included photos here and I share on the Zentangle Mosaic app and while you all see art, I see stories. Each deliberate stroke is a line in a chapter that only I can decipher.
I have written about this before in a blog post called Tangled Memories, and reflected on how looking back through old journals brought me back to all sorts of moments in life – happy, sad and everything in between. This is not a new revelation for me, but it is not something I am consciously aware of at all times.
When I write in my other journals, I think about the words I am using. That one day, I will reopen these pages and read them back to myself. When I am tangling in my Zentangle journal, I am not thinking about what story these pages will tell, that is not why I am tangling. So, it is always a pleasant surprise to open a page in my journal and have a certain memory, a certain story, spill across the page, in a language that belongs just to me. Lines, and dots and curves all interwoven in ways that may look familiar to other tanglers, you may recognize the tangles, but you can’t read the pages like I can.
My Zentangle journal is also a different kind of story telling because it doesn’t happen in chronological order. This is especially true for my current Shades journal because I am constantly jumping from page to page, exploring different shades of paper and different pens. These decisions dictated by my mood sometimes, a personal preference, or maybe a current trend in the tangling world. So, all of my memories and stories are scattered across the pages, intertwined and are what makes the pages complete, much like our memories and stories are what make us who we are.
What stories do the pages of your journal or your tiles say to you?
Perhaps some exciting news that you have been waiting for…
Or, maybe a warm spring day listening to the birds sing…
Or perhaps the forgotten middle child, I mean, tangle… (PS. Mom – You know I am kidding!)