Before I’ve unpacked my bag to teach journaling, the participants say, “I never know what to write in my journal. I’d like to keep a journal, but it would be blank. I don’t know what to say.” Let’s start with something easy. Here’s a recipe clipped from the newspaper. (A cultural artifact dating from the 17th to the early 21st century, printed on cheap paper and containing a condensed version of news, advertising and comics and angry letters to the editor delivered to your door for a reasonable price every day.)
It’s Maya Angelou’s recipe for poached pears and is blissfully delicious. My recipe box is full. If I put this recipe on an index card and stick it in a recipe book, I’ll wind up paging through all 400 cookbooks looking for it. Yes, we have 400 cookbooks.
So I turned it into a journal page. I drew some brightly colored pears, so I can find the recipe when I flip through the journal, and left space for notes, ideas of recipes to serve it with, or notes of who shared this dish at my dinner table.
A journal is the GPS of your journey. Eat well along the way.
—Quinn McDonald is a raw-art journaler. Her book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art, comes out in July, 2011, published by North Light Books.