The Art of Capturing Memories and Inspirations

sketch from my journal

My only big regret in life is that I didn’t take the time to document my experiences more.  I’ve kept a journal on and off since I was 16, which is admiral, but I wish I had expanded my entries to snippets of sensory experience and fascinations other than just emotional spew.  But, in my defense, I was a teenager and  I avoided language arts classes finding them tedious.

Looking back even recording one thing that made my day would have been such a precious collection to look back on.  No one told me then that those little vignettes from my life in Alaska, raising my son, and those hilarious “kids say the darndest things” moments teaching 6th-grade science would be so longed for. Of course, I have hundreds of photos but without some words as accompaniment, they are incomplete memories. I was always too busy, thinking I would remember everything.  Then “poof” those clear memories vanish like steam.  The same goes with some solution to a nagging problem or those creative inspirations I get as I drift off to sleep.

Now retired, and a writer despite my past, I have notebooks and pens all over the place.  When that little voice whispers to me “you should really write this down,” I listen, pull over the car, stop walking, or turn the lights back on after I’ve gone to bed to write it down.  If nothing else I will record a voice memo on my phone.  I’ve never regretted doing so just as I’ve never been able to retrieve an idea I’ve had right before drifting off to sleep.

Inspirations are slippery.  When you get one hold tight and don’t let go.  They are almost impossible to retrieve. Writing is the anchor.

A Poet’s Lament

Slippery as a thrashing fish on the end of a taught line

my idea I foolishly thought I had a firm grip on

slithered away down into the deep recesses of my mind

It  rose during some insignificant task

a brilliant, shiny poem that would curry accolades

mine for the taking

but I,  overconfident in my abilities

failed to hook it properly with my pen

the line went slack

leaving me empty handed

with only this sad story

“you should have seen

the one that got away”

8 thoughts on “The Art of Capturing Memories and Inspirations

  1. OMG – this happens to me so often these days1 Something brilliant (I think…) escapes my mind & then I can’t retrieve it. I am sorting things recently & struggling with what to throw out so my kids won’t read things when I’m gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve kept a dairy on and off since I was able 10-11. I was more into journaling when I was a teenager and I was going through emotions, experiences, etc that I had never been through before. Reading back on those dairies makes me cringe, but it also shows me how far I’ve come.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get it Michelle. My early entries were very cringeworthy as well but those periods were necessary to get where we are today. My journal has always acted as my therapist.Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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