I meant to keep an electronic journal during the retreat but found that electronic devices were a no-no. I kept mine with me anyway as a security blanket but didnt end up using it. Instead I ended up scribbling in a recycle paper journal I’d bought as a notebook for my english lessons. This actually proved to be a good thing.
The contrast between my style of expression from the first few days to the last few days is quite incredible.
The first few days I kept pretty much to prose. My handwriting was small and cribbed, I wrote in straight lines. The last few days, my journal pages are full of drawings. There are large expanses of white space, my handwriting is much larger and is no longer bound vertically. There are wide margins on the sides of the pages and along the top and at some point, strange cartoon characters started popping up in those margins with speech bubbles commenting or expanding on the main text (or drawing). Some of it childish, some of it obvious but some of it coming from some otherwise inaccessible part of myself.
This all happened so quickly that it was like a part of me I’d lost and forgotten about was blooming before my eyes. It was and is fantastic. Working on my pda phone is convenient but I’d lost so much on such a small canvas. From now on, I’ll be using my paper journal as my main journal and transcribing what seems most appropriate to this one. It helps that my journal paper is very textured and I have an incredibly good freeflowing pen with very black ink. Alas I am running out of pages and ink but I’ll be looking around for more.