We’ve been talking a lot about active journaling lately. I understand the why and the how but taking that understanding and doing something with it is hard. It isn’t natural for me to record my life in words, or Alder’s in words as it occurs. That is usually left to the camera. That’s not true I have my notebook I carry with me that I fill with things to look up, to do lists, book titles, design ideas. But they are ideas that come to me from inside. If this world of learning that I want to create for Alder is going to be as rich as I can make it, as full of joyful learning as it can be, I need to start writing down those same things for him, to see the questions that need answering, the projects that want doing (and what I need to put together so they can happen).
But this process is unnatural to me. I hesitate in opening the notebook when he asks, afraid that it will put up another wall between me and the day we are in. I remember once on a trip as a teenager I took my camera everywhere, I came home from the week with lots of great images but few memories. I spent so much of my time taking the pictures that I wasn’t really present for the trip. Since Alder’s been born I’ve gotten better at this, I am learning how to have the camera with me without it placing a wall between me and the moment. But still there are days where the camera stays home on my desk when we go out into the world.
To add to this active recording words seems like stepping behind the wall again. In my mind I know it is a way to bring together Alder’s learning needs, to direct me in what I need to prepare for him to explore and learn. But still I struggle with it this recording as we go. It’s a little bit scary to write something down without knowing where it’s going. It’s a little bit scary starting these commitments to Alder’s learning and knowing that I am responsible for making it full and (if I am to be honest) richer than what he would receive at a school. Still I can see how once I start this process it will become natural like the way I stretch in the mornings now.
So today when start our day together I will have my little pad or sticky notes, and I will write on them the question he asks and the ideas we both get so that later I can bring them all together and be able to move forward in this project we call learning, even though it looks a lot like life.