Friday, January 01, 2010

1000 Journals

“It's more important to do something personal than to do something important. That's what I think now.” — 1000 Journals

My SO and I watched this documentary last night. In a nutshell, a graphic designer who calls himself SomeGuy took one thousand blank books, added artwork to the covers, stamped the inside with instructions - keep for two weeks, add whatever you want, pass it on, send it back when it is full - and launched them into the world. His goal was to spark our innate creativity, that fresh way we looked at the world when we were young. "1000 Journals" contains interviews with some of the contributors and how the project impacted their lives. No one was "saved" but everyone gave something and gained something from participating. According to the website FAQ, only one has come back, but in the movie, I think more like two dozen did. There was talk about a museum exhibit - not sure if that ever happened - and a book about the project was published and obviously this movie was made. Oh, and another project, 1001 Journals, came into being.

While I was intrigued by the idea and entertained by the movie, I'm not sure what to think about it all. I am one of those many adults who would not answer "YES" if asked whether I were an artist. In the not so distant past, I tried to keep a journal like these, something that contained more than my daily whine, but could not sustain any interest in it. But now that I am approaching the end of my 50's (GAH!), my interest in this sort of thing is increasing, not as an expression of creativity but as an exploration of my inner life, the real me, whoever that may be.

In the era of the Internet, keeping a journal of any sort on paper seems like an anachronism, but then how to explain the popularity of scrapbooking? In A Year of Cats and Dogs, the protagonist complains about how life has no plot. Maybe journals and scrapbooks and photo albums are our attempts to capture events and apply a storyline of some sort to our existence.

1000 Journals

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