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Mentoring Mankind with Memories and Musings

Jun 23,   Spring and Summer in Shangri La
Mar 20,   Adventures in Cyber Dating
Mar 13,   Stories of WWII are Fading Fast
Feb 22,   Canst Thou Protest Too Much?
Jan 26,   New Medical Paradigm On Horizon
Jan 16,   COLLEGE DAZE Is On the Horizon
Jan 10,   My Book Is On Its Way to Publication
Dec 18,   Red Letter Days Mark Milestones
Dec 17,   Today Was a Red Letter Day
Dec 1,   the 2nd Year of My Voyage is Over
Nov 20,   I Find Family and Friends at Hallmark
Nov 5,   My Book From the Male Viewpoint
Oct 12,   Music & Movies Mark My Milestones
Sep 18,   My New Life Appears on the Horizon
Aug 23,   Life is a Pathway with Many Forks
Aug 21,   The Importance of Doing My Best
Aug 4,   Life Imitates Hello Myrmidon
Aug 1,   Writing a Book Has Changed My Life
Jun 13,   Plants are Amazing Creatures
May 25,   Will You Accept My Apology?
Apr 30,   A Road Trip to Shangri La
Apr 25,   Movies as Matchmakers
Apr 23,   Me at Seventy-Three!!!
Apr 19,   Make Time for Your Friends
Apr 14,   Can One Make a Difference?
Apr 9,   a snipit from HELLO MYRMIDON
Apr 1,   What Price Glory, Sweat, Tears
Mar 30,   To Retrieve or Not Retrieve
Mar 29,   Discourse on Decisions
Mar 25,   Memory Retrieval
Mar 24,   I Join the World Community
Mar 22,   Website Lessons
Mar 3,   My Miracles, Part 2
Mar 2,   My Miracles, Part 1
Feb 9,   Phones of Old, Part 2
Feb 8,   Phones of Old, Part 1
Feb 7,   Twitterpated!!!
Jan 25,   Jacob and Esau, Part 2
Jan 24,   Jacob and Esau, Part 1
Jan 10,   A New Goal?
Jan 9,   My Earliest Memories
Dec 31,   2016: Successes and Failures
Dec 30,   2016: My Self-Discovery
Dec 28,   I Finally Hear My Angels
Dec 27,   Angels and Me
Dec 26,   Angels Inspire Me
Dec 24,   the Littlest Angel
Dec 23,   Story of My Name Part 3
Dec 22,   Story of My Name Part 2
Dec 21,   Story of My Name Part 1
Dec 19,   Prior Challenges Part 2
Dec 17,   Prior Challenges Part 1
Dec 16,   My Website Challenge
Dec 15,   Astrological Review of 2016
Dec 14,   North Coast Winter
Dec 13,   an Angelic Intervention
Dec 12,   Birth of HELLO MYRMIDON
Dec 11,   Christmas Lights Fade
Dec 10,   Christmas Art Project
Dec 9,   Finding a Perfect Tree
Dec 7,   Christmas with KW
Dec 6,   Christmas around the World
Dec 4,   Mom’s Story Part 2
Dec 3,   Mom’s Christmas Story Part 1
Dec 2,   Ghosts of Christmas Past
Dec 1,   My First Blog

Guest Blogs

Mar 24,   SusanDay on Being a Grandparent

1st May A Journal is a Window on Your Life

Today as I awakened I recalled an email conversation about memories I had a few days ago. This recollection soon progressed to pondering about how memories are accumulated, and how they remain stored at the bottom of your sea of memories until they float unexpectedly to the surface when provoked by some seemingly insignificant incident.  This train of thought further morphed into a discussion with myself about how a memory that has surfaced  this way can seed our thoughts, and lead us to conceive ideas that would never have entered our minds otherwise.  I noted how it only takes a very small seed, when planted in fertile ground, to grow into something that is more beautiful than can be imagined by just looking at that tiny and very unimpressive little kernel that it came from.  

The email was to a friend who is learning to be a writer.  I discussed the importance of creating colorful memories by being aware of everything around you, no matter how small or mundane it seems. But along with that I encouraged her to use her journal to describe those small details, and to document her feelings at the time.  She admitted she already understood the function of a journal, but she had put off recording her life because she was too busy living it.  I pointed out that with so many things going on at the same time it is highly probable that many smaller things will be overlooked.  Those seemingly small “seeds” could someday be the stimulus for writing something extraordinary.  And even if they don’t make a large splash by themselves, they can add wonderful color and depth to fill in the background of her writing.

I admit that I failed until recently to do this. It is really frustrating to know that  many details that could now make my writing jump off the page have been lost to the sands of time.  That is not to say that I don’t remember enough to create interesting compositions, but it can make the difference between merely adequate or exceptional writings.  Even the best ideas must have a setting in which they can sparkle, not just lay there as a dull uncut diamond.

I can call up enough memories to learn how they have made me into who I am today.  But I don’t have enough details to write something like a novel, with many small, colorful “bytes” that make the environment of the characters abound with sights, sounds and smells. Great writers create a “mind movie” to capture and hold the interest of the reader, and it is many small vivid details that bring the story to life.  If you watch actual movies for details it will become apparent that every tiny item or sound in each individual scene has its own importance and function to create the whole. Nothing is there by accident or for no reason. Most of us don’t actively notice much of the “background”, but we nevertheless subconsciously feel the ambiance of the surroundings from those same small details.

The bottom line of this whole discussion is for everyone who enjoys writing to document their life in some type of a journal.  And thanks to today's fancy technologies, those who don’t write can easily make an audio journal. Chronicle  big events, yes.  But always include very small items that make up the whole picture of sights, sounds, smells, textures, etc. Examples of this would be: an elderly beggar, curled up in a corner somewhere, in tattered clothing, with some missing fingers on his outstretched hands;  a street dog sitting attentively like a statue beneath an open restaurant window quietly hoping and waiting  patiently for leftovers;  watching the tiny speck of a boat  on the  horizon,  bobbing up and down with the ocean waves, and  drawing ever nearer, guided by the wail of the jetty horn, until it is  tied up safe in its slip; a tree in a neglected  vacant lot that bends severely but stand firm when hurricane winds attempt to knock it down; Need I go on, or have you got it? 

If you are a writer I think you get the idea. And if you are not, then perhaps just think of your journal as a letter, or an audio recording, to your great-great grandchildren about what life was like in your time. I have read  journals from my own ancestors, and even heard an old recording of my grandmother.   They really open a window on the past, and give the reader a new appreciation for what the people were like, and what made them happy. It is not necessary to be a fancy writer, or embellish the content to create a bestselling autobiography.  But just tell a little about your world, with activities, plans, dreams, etc. and include some small details.  When you read them later you will see how far you have come toward realizing your dreams.

Many people, especially writers, use hardbound volumes of blank pages to write by hand. They can carry these wherever they go and record everything.  But the rest of us do not need to be that intense.  With the advent of modern technology, especially portable computers and phones, we now have several choices to record our lives.  I, for one, send  emails to myself that I keep in a file labelled “weekly entries to Journal”  and each letter has that plus the date in the subject line for easy retrieval. 

Of course, I can’t seem to reach my goal of “weekly”, but I try to record all my happenings at least monthly.  I am sure there are many other ways to do a journal, but everyone would be well advised to at least make some kind of record of their daily lives.  In the past, I relied on my yearly Christmas letter to all my friends and family to tell our news. But when computers came along it became somewhat redundant to send a letter to people who were already informed of our activities via email and Facebook.

Starting a journal has given me a way to look back and see if my life is going as I expected.  As a person who failed to capture most of my 73 years, my heartfelt gift to you is to emphasize that recording your life in a journal is the very best gift you will ever give  to yourself and your descendants.  So do not fail to start one today, or neglect to write regularly in one you already have. Take it from someone who didn’t, you will be glad you did.






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