To Twice Taste Life

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
Anais Nin

As I blog on day 2 of the SOL challenge, I’ve been thinking a great deal about my writing life, and how this challenge might change it. In fact, I slept fitfully last night, dreaming constantly about blogging.
One aspect of our writing, and that of our students, is our journal writing. Why do we keep a journal? Why might we write in it every day? One reason, as the quote above hints, is to “taste life twice.” Writing in our journals about our honeymoon in Hawaii, the perfect writing lesson that inspired our students, or the thoughtful gift of a friend brings back the wonderful feelings we experienced when those events actually happened. We taste them a third or fourth time when we reread our journals days or years later.
As we write about those events, I believe we are also working our way through them. When we write about how a friend hurt us, how a lesson wasn’t as effective as we’d hoped, or something that made us cry, writing about it soothes us. As we put our thoughts on paper, solutions appear, causes become clear, and things don’t look so awful. We are filled with hope and tomorrow looks better.
Even though the audience for our journal musings is mostly ourselves, I believe it’s a valuable writing genre promoting self-growth and a joy of living.

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5 responses »

  1. Powerful incentive to journal and write: taste life twice! That quote is going into my notes as well! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi-Have kept journals/field work or creative writing for a long time, with students and personally. I like the idea of it being soothing & I understand. When we ‘handwrite’, it slows us down to think a bit more slowly, to look at the picture a little more thoughtfully, meditating/relaxing/soothing! Nice to ponder!

  3. I love the line “writing our way through them”–writing has always helped me process and remember. Sorrows or joys, writing captures and releases. Thanks for sharing the writing thoughts.

  4. I totally agree, Mrs. Williams. I recently quit journal writing, and I hope to get back in the habit because it is so valuable. I think it’s important, too, to relive the “lessons” life teaches us, so we don’t make the same mistakes again!!

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