March 31, 2012
A PASSION FOR JOURNALING
Something about this ‘View from the Trees’ venture harks back to what I was doing in 1973… in my 20’s… when I was an eager, bubbling vessel of creative passion (aren’t we all in our 20’s?) I was a ‘journalist’. By this, I don’t mean I was writing for magazines or dailies… no, I was writing for myself. I wrote and illustrated a personal journal, which was a creative outlet for my emerging skills. Its subject was whatever was in front of my face. Here’s a page from it.
Whatever it was – notebook, sketchbook, workbook, daybook – my journal expressed my view(s) of the world. And it was a labour of love (i.e. I didn’t get paid for it). The first part of it chronicles a trip I was on across Northern Ontario. I was a member of a small, moderately successful theatre company from Toronto, called Studio Lab Theatre, and we were on tour – a small town tour that took us to more than 40 Ontario locations in about 6 weeks. The gig was a good one. Funded by the education system, it was part of the principled effort to bring (big city) culture to (small town) communities. We played the schools. We traveled in 2 Volkswagen buses, and set up our collapsible stage in school gyms across the province. Sometimes, we did two shows a day. It was intense. And it was idyllic (on a good day:)
It was children’s theatre. Twice a year, we developed, rehearsed and produced a play, took it out on the road, and played to some of the most appreciative audiences you’d ever have the pleasure of meeting. Hey, if you lived on the lovely, lonely shores of Lake Superior, 10 miles from the nearest convenience store, and you got the chance to skip math class to see a slightly zany version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ performed by a bunch of hippies from the city, you’d be an appreciative audience! Here’s another page from the journal:
Studio Lab Theatre was my introduction to earning my living by being creative… and being dramatic. And it was my introduction to journal writing.
Fast forward to now, and perhaps the most world-changing thing that has happened is the democratization of computing. There were computers around in the 70’s, but they were in sealed rooms attended by white-coated boffins. Today, we’re swimming in technology.
Accordingly, the concept of a journal has been advanced a hundredfold. I keep a journal today that is a pretty amazing thing. It’s so amazing that I can’t even properly represent it in these pages on the web… but I’m going to try.