Yesterday, I posted about the magic of keeping a daily logbook.
What's magical, for me, is the visual component of such a practice.
I always prefer my old journals that include sketches and drawings and diagrams over those that are strictly words.
Noticing what comes through
An important component of Intentional Hiking--hiking with the intention of connecting with your divine, creative self-- is documenting what comes through during the hikes.
It may be something intangible like an idea or the solution to a problem. Or it may be something tangible like corn dogs or making eye contact with a barred owl in a tree.
Either way, what comes through is a gift and worthy of being noted, remembered, revered.
How to keep track
I've decided to resurrect the practice of keeping a logbook and to make it a daily ritual, a practice that includes reviewing any notes, ideas, thoughts, scraps of overheard conversation, field notes (i.e. 4/30/18: trillium and iris blooming; indigo bunting; mama bear with three yearling cubs in Webb Cove).
Another practice of visual documentation I've not mastered but that intrigues me is the idea of making an "Event Map."
The amazing artist/naturalist Hannah Hinchman introduced me to this practice through her books A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place and A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal.
From A Trail Through Leaves, Hinchman explains Event Maps...
"An Event Map is an actual map, in that it traces your route through a landscape, as you encounter it....An Event Map takes shape around a wandering line that mirrors your path, whether purposeful or erratic. Along it will appear symbols that mark the approximate site of an event, with at least a few words indicating what has happened, or is happening.
Looking back at an Event Map,...I can still unroll a whole string of vivid sense images from that day, many that aren't documented on the event map at all. All of these peripheral details, like the exact level of humidity, what I was wearing and which knapsack I carried at the time, certain fallen logs, the way voices sounded in that little valley and bits of conversation exchanged must be mysteriously encoded on these pages, though they reside in no particular drawing or phrase.
Event Maps have the power to reconstruct a particular day for me more effectively than any other form of recording I've found....The aura of the day and place somehow clings to them with special pungency."
You don't have to record ALL the things. Recording just a few of the things as they unfolded during the day brings back all the things later.
I want to make more of these event maps. So when I open my journal and follow the dotted line, I find the treasure that was that particular well-lived day.
Like this day, where I had ice cream for breakfast, refused to go on without swimming in the lake and had my finest Hiker Trash moment where I swam in my clothes then spread them over the picnic table to dry the clothes and myself in the sun, surrounded by a hundred of my best 4 year old friends.
More examples of Hannah Hinchman's Event Maps here.
Peruse her work at your peril. She sets the bar so high for sketch journaling and nature journaling that I let her incredible talent stop me for years from developing my own sketching practice. I let my inner critic win when I listened to the voice that said "You'll never be that good." I think that voice is probably right; but so what? That shouldn't stop me from documenting my own journey, my own unique life that can only be lived through me. So STFU, inner critic! I'm sketching anyway.