Wreck This Journal started as an individual experience, but it didn’t take long for my friends and family to get involved as well. The phrase, “the more the merrier,” has never been more true. As I look through my journal, I turn pages that hold multiple epiphanies and pages that hold memories for which I’ll always be grateful. Creativity is as much an artistic endeavor as it is a human experience.
At one point in the journal, there is a page that says, “Give away your favorite page.” I have been the lucky recipient of two favorite pages, both of which are securely fastened to my journal. One comes from my good friend Rita, with whom I have fond memories of writing together and completing Wreck This Journal. Her page always makes me smile as I think of the friendship, inspiration, and moments we have shared. As a bonus, trees have always been a special source of inspiration for me (even as a child). Fate always pulls us in the direction we need to go and Rita, my friend, I will always be thankful I fate brought me to you.
The second page comes from my grandmother and has recently taken on much more significance. When I first started this journal two years ago, I bought one for her too, so we could have something to do together. She’d had a stroke the previous year, so it was important to keep her active and exercise her mind. Besides that, my grandma loves to play and go nuts with crayons and markers (its my favorite thing about her). Every Friday, I brought my journal to her house and we worked on our pages – laughing and experimenting happily the whole time. When it came time for her to give up a favorite page, she gave me a page that asked her to “Sample various substances found in your home.” She got it mixed up with the page where she was supposed collect random objects, but we had a good giggle over that mishap. As we always say mistakes are “what makes it homemade,” (long story, family joke).
Grandma’s random objects are strange and have no relationship, but at the same time I can see her in every item she chose to attach to this page. She got the sandpaper from my grandpa’s tool bench where he builds his model trains, the safety pin came from her sewing “tomato” pin cushion, the button came from her sewing table, the Snicker’s wrapper came from the candy pile we devoured while working on our journals, the matchbook came from the kitchen drawer, the gum wrapper from her purse, and the copper “tag” came from her craft box. Any stranger would deem these objects as worthless, but to me they are priceless. Over the last year, I’ve watched my grandma slip away as age and dementia stole little pieces of her until there was hardly anything left. I still go see her, but like everyone else in my family, I hold on for the little glimmers of her humor and feistiness that still poke through every once in a while. When I see her page, it’s a nice reminder that when she’s gone, my memories of her will be beautiful and full of love.
I know my Wreck This Journal posts are usually much more lighthearted, but when art and human condition collide, emotions tend to run deep. Yes, its crazy to rip, tear, mutilate, and destroy, but at the core is one simple truth – All of this nonsense really does mean something.
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