Paulus Berensohn has made a lasting impression on me.
A few posts ago,  I posted the lovely video “Soul’s Kitchen” about his journal work.
And I’m going to do something I never did before.
I’m going to post the video once more. Already.
I watched it over and over again. And I thought you might want to see it again too.
Paulus Berensohn has been making journals for a whopping 60 years or so.
His experience and attention have given him words to describe
the relationship I feel with my journals, with my self.
Because that is what a journal is,
a place to lay down
your self.
He says such beautiful things:

“…and they [my journals] have been a constant companion for me.”

What a beautiful thought, to see your journals as your companions in life.
But they are. 
Whenever we move house, the first thing I worry about packing and not getting lost,
is my ever growing collection of diaries and journals.
I sometimes pity those who find them after I’m gone.
Such a legacy I’m leaving behind!

“Making the journals that I keep, rather than say, you know, using a purchased book, infinitely deepens the intimacy.”

So true. I think I used and filled two purchased journals cover to cover. 
In the very beginning. But I bought far more than two. 
I just never filled them completely or at all.
My heart will always go out to the intimacy of my handbound journals.
Of the journals I had painted the covers of myself.

“Making a book is like building a nest, so I think I learned how to make books from birds…”

No one could have said it more beautifully…
making your very own journal is like making a nest to lay down your self.
And subconsciously it’s those little nests that appeal to me way more
than purchased books. No matter how pretty they are.
Debra Frasier, one of Paulus’ students, expresses a beautiful thought about how a journal can function as an instrument of the consciousness:

“And Paulus had taught me this other thing. That you have this antenna that knows where you’re going before your body knows where it’s going. So if you have this journal space, and you allow yourself to trust whatever is drawing your attention,and put it into that journal, it gave me a way of magnetizing a question, be alert to the answers and have a place to store it.”

And it’s true. 
Sometimes when we get stuck, our journal can help us see the path we’re walking and the direction it’s heading. Just by being alert. Just by giving your path acknowlegdment in the form of a journal entry.

 “I can literally say I would not have survived the life that I’ve been given without this faithful companion in which I do rejoice and in which I do suffer.”

To people who don’t journal, it may seem awkward and queer.
But once you learn to reflect on life, on yourself, on the questions you carry inside you in a journal,
journaling becomes a part of you,
of your brain, of your heart, of your consciousness.
If I can journal regularly, I’m happy.
If I can’t, the kids will soon coax me to sit down in my studio and work in my journal a bit.
Journaling, once you grow into it,
is a way of life.
This morning I leafed through some of my journals.
And I realised that after I became a professional, my journals changed.
They because lab experiments, technique experiments only.
I had lost the life companion in them…quite a bit.
So this morning I sat down and decided to make a page on intuition.
Outcome unimportant. Only what I wanted to say.
“Nest” – journal page. Acrylics and collage.
They are too small to read, but the red letters following some black lines say:
“Looking back, my journal so far is one great search for styles, inspiration and artistic fire.
Ironically, or probably logically, it only took me further away from my self.
Only Paulus Berensohn’s metaphor of the journal as a nest brought me back to my self.”
It was a liberating experience and I love the page very much.
Especially when I made the image smaller
and noticed rudimentary figures in the lines that weren’t supposed to mean anything.
The joy of journaling!
Paulus Berensohn seems to have no website. But another, bigger film is being made of him.
I can’t wait to see it!