On November 8, 2020 my 94 year old father passed away from pneumonia in a hospital full of COVID patients. He did not have COVID, but with other patients being ill with the virus I was prevented from coming and going to his hospital room. I was grateful that my sister made arrangements each day for either she or I to be with him. During that time my daughter encouraged me to journal. Now, I don't know about you, but journaling has never been an activity I could get excited about. During one of my attempts to journal, my other daughter Aerin wrote out on each page of a 365 page journal with a beautifully engraved cover in the deepest color of Burgundy a prompt so that I could just respond to the prompt. Needless to say, it is about 3/4 incomplete.
But in late October, as Katie and I drove to Illinois to be with my dad (her papa), She continued to talk about her journaling experience. She had begun doing art journaling several years before as a way to gather with her friends, and when COVID struck relentlessly on our social engagements, she was able to continue her projects on Zoom with her friends.
While we were in Illinois, she bought me colored pens and a journal. It was a little gift waiting for me when I returned from the hospital. She had been journaling in the midst of her working on line with her company and in the midst of her grief at not being able to see her dying grandfather. I told her I could not draw, and she said it didn't matter. My first journaling was on All Saints Eve - the day before Día De Los Muertos. I drew a calavera not realizing I was celebrating not only my mom's memory, but I would soon be grieving my dad too.
Later in December as my ministry for Advent and Christmas was ramping up as well as all the paperwork when a parent dies, (who knew there was so much paperwork?), Katie suggested that once a week, not matter what, she and I Zoom and do our art journal. We began on a Wednesday afternoon shortly after the first of the year and invited my sister to join. We have journaled every Wednesday afternoon since then.
Now, you might ask, "are you a good artist?", and after I quit laughing I would say an emphatic NO. But, if you ask if that time is wasted doing art, or if I have the time to do an hour of art a week, and I would tell you, I wouldn't miss it for practically anything.
Here of some pictures of Katie's journaling. I encourage you to get a notebook and a pencil and start doodling. Let your spirit take you where it will. And, Pinterest always has great ideas!