Every once in a while someone will tell me that they really like keeping a journal. Many of these same people also tell me that they haven’t made a journal entry in a while. I suggested to one person recently that for now she might be building new experiences to write about later. Sometimes we can be so busy capturing the moment with camera or pen that we’re not fully living that present, meaningful experience. Maybe she just wants to flow in the moment.
Remember the great athlete and activist, Jackie Robinson? He offered a useful observation, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grand stand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
Now sometimes, flowing with camera or pen (or keyboard :”) is the experience of the moment. Reflection, private introspection and reaching out to the world to share are all full fledged experiences in their own right. Just remember that you can only be immersed in one experience at a time. If camera or pen is part of the experience – helping you be present, all to the good. If it’s splitting your attention – diluting the intensity of experience you’re having, then put your journal away. It will be there waiting for you, ready to hear all about your latest insight, pilgrimage or great adventure.