January 29, 2007

“How to Make a Journal of Your Life”

by Dan Price

Dan Price is the creator of the 'Moonlight Chronicles', a wonderful little zine full of drawings, photos, quotes, and thoughts self-published in Joseph, Oregon. I've been a fan of Dan's since I picked up my first copy of "Moonlight Chronicles #16" back in 1995. Even though we've never met, I feel I know him as I've followed his life through his ramblings and sketches. And through all of life's turmoils and setbacks, he still continues to write and publish at least three issues a year. How to Make a Journal of Your Life seems a natural for his first book. Written or should I say drawn, in the same style as his Moonlight Chronicle zine, Dan really tries to get the reader not only excited about starting a journal, but to explore drawing too. It's a little book, but well worth the read.

Back Cover:
Has your intuition been telling you to get an empty journal and begin filling it with all those interesting events in your life? Well time is racing by. All those neat things that happened just last week have quickly become the past. Lost in all that white noise of our fast paced, modern lifestyles. So why not begin a new journey today? Find a nice empty book and start what could be the most fascinating and fulfilling activity of your entire life.

Meaningful Quotes:
Your personal being, sitting back in there behind those sparkling eyeballs, has a totally unique perspective on this world, shared by no one else.

“It is in description that the keeper of a diary becomes artist. All description is art, and in describing an event, an action or a being, you enter into the joy of art. You are more than the mere secretary of life, patiently taking down dictation; you become its singer, the expresser of its glory.”
Stephen Graham in “The Gentle Art of Tramping”

Yes, it is our duty, our everlasting need, to be the one's who go marching into our unknown futures. We will make that endless journey to the east, fasting until given food, wandering until offered shelter. We, the proud journal makers who cower not at life's sacred offerings, who hardly tremble at destiny's doorway, willingly and with lots of courage, take up our armaments of battle, our pens, notebooks, cameras, and dreams, and plunge headlong and with reckless abandon into the gathering storms...

And as you're going along, stop lots and learn to how to look, listen, and feel again. Like you used to do when you were just a child. Before you got picked up and hurriedly carried into the deluge we call adulthood.

Drawing is also a form of meditation and makes you more aware, more living in this present moment. By sitting quietly and looking out onto the world, instead of inward to our old thoughts and desires, we express our wonderment of everything around us. By taking the time to render them with lines on paper, you acknowledge the sacredness of each and every little thing. Even ants and bugs and stuff.

“The sketchbook is a private visual diary. In it you are free to study and to learn, to experiment, to splash and paddle around with the ink. It is a record of your own relationship to the world, the notes of inner progression. Keep your sketchbook alive. Make it a part of yourself. Each time we open our eyes we create a world which is unique to ourselves. A line is an idea given energy.” by Fred Gettings in “On Drawing”

If you keep on this path you may become wise and drop the narrow judgments of likes and dislikes and come to realize the beauty in all things. From simple weeds blowing on a windy hill, to the classic curves of old automobiles. Every thing is sacred. And everything that our eyes behold matters and can be meaningful if looked at in an open and appreciative way.

"Be strong and do not betray your soul. Carry your light to illuminate your destiny. Rejoice, for you are part of the great mystery." old Indian saying

"Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity. Believe in your goodness. Seek adventure. Climb high mountains. Run wild rivers. Live daily with this spirit. Take care. Follow your dreams, but watch your step. Have fun, sing, dance, laugh, and spread joy wherever you journey." Royal Robbins

When you find yourself lost in observing a trail of ants or frantically sketching boats moving in and out of some sunny harbor, you'll realize you've arrived and will smile. You have trained yourself to be a chronicler of life and your long days will be filled with wonder.

Other books:
Moonlight Chronicles: A Wandering Artist's Journal
Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life

Where is Dan now? blog