A Life In Hand

A blog is for many of us a kind of verbal & visual journal. I also like to journal on paper. A traditional journal does obviously allow for more privacy, but the main reason I journal is that it gives me the opportunity to make things with my own hands; text, drawings, photos, collages etc.

A journal allows me to become a maker. And as a maker there is this one thing I love almost as much as making stuff, and that is to read about other makers:

Here is from the beginning of Hannah Hinchman’s beautiful book: A Life In Hand. Creating the Illuminated Journal.

Most of us, normal people who aren’t astronauts or living in a country undergoing revolution, probably see our lives as unworthy of careful observation. Quite the opposite is true. Each of us is supplied with the same basic equipment as the first humans, and lives under the conditions that make being human so remarkable: we have an arsenal of senses, in a world of countless things to sense. We have minds that can hold images and form ideas of past, present and future all at once.

We have won a moment in the unfolding universe. Doesn’t that warrant comment?

The kind of journal I want to talk about in this book is an inclusive kind, one that maps actual or inner places, that can be used for things as diverse as recipes or soul-searching inner dialogues. It can be a place to deposit anger, or a place to sketch floorplan after floorplan for your dream house.

The juxtaposition of such apparently unrelated parts of your life may seem strange at first; your sense of order may object to it.

Try to resist that voice.

It’s just those juxtapositions (of apparently unrelated parts of your life) that generate some of the best journal results …


“The best time to begin keeping a journal is whenever you decide to.”
― Hannah Hinchman, A Life In Hand

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Stefanie says:

    Isn’t this a wonderful book? I read it years ago and very much enjoyed it. I never added sketching to my journaling but it was still inspirational.

    1. Sigrun says:

      It’s marvellous!

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