Hey remember that one time I started an experimental fall art journal using W magazine pages? And how that may've quite possibly been one of the worst ideas ever? Haha. I just couldn't keep up, and the format was annoying. And now I know what NOT to do. Which is actually kind of cool because for the first time, I was able to step back from a project and say "this isn't working; I'm not enjoying it, I'm getting nothing accomplished, and there are a million other ways this could be more efficient". And I was okay with that. Normally I'm wracked with guilt or obligation to a project because I don't want to be a "quitter"...but you can't force life into something that's dead. So I scrapped it. Sometimes it's good to walk away.
Fastforward to last week when I was hit with some serious inspiration for a new journal; something to do with an extreme urge to chronicle this new chapter in my life and things that've been happening lately. So I've been doing just that! The pages are much smaller and easier to work with. I'm going with a horizontal-opening journal this time, so it's been fun filling wide space instead of working vertically (even though the above photo is vertical, meh). More importantly though, I feel like I'm actually creating something worthwhile, and I'm having a blast. Even though I should probably be working on Christmas gifts. Oops.
cover page / detail
I found the book Alive by Piers Paul Read at a local thrift store. I chose it because it chronicles the story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in the winter of 1972. Sixteen of the original 45 passengers were found and rescued after surviving over two months in the harshest conditions. I've been reading it as I use pages, and it's pretty incredible. What drew me initially was the book's title. Alive. But knowing that there's such a significant story behind the name makes it that much more powerful, I think. These people experienced one of the most extreme forms of physical survival in the worst conditions, and I don't wish it upon anyone, ever. And I'm not devaluing their horrific ordeal by any means, but I think there's a little bit of survivor in all of us. We struggle and strive in our own way, depending on the circumstances of our lives. No, I hope I never get stranded in the Andes or any extremely cold place because I will probably be one of the first to die (I may be fierce but I don't do cold, ha). But whatever life throws our way, we're left with this basic choice: to succumb or survive.
That's what I believe anyway. And that's the premise of the journal.