I’ve been reading the work of Hannah Hinchman, a Montana artist who advocates a method of keeping an illuminated or illustrated journal. From A Life in Hand, her popular work on the subject:
What do we have that is utterly unique to us, after all, but these days, in these surroundings.
One of the dangers of life without a journal is that we would have to entrust the events of our lives to memory alone. My memory is feeble and capricious, and the inforamtion it does store sometimes gets “corrected” by my ego. But if we are working toward the ideal of an examined life, we want to be able to know and understand our pasts, so we have to use whatever memories we can get hold of. For most of us, access to these musty storage aisles is the main problem. Instead, we repeat stories to ourselves in place of actual living images, and risk missing the significance that still lies intact in the memories. We need to get into the raw data banks and look for new information.