In the Trenches of Our Heart and Soul

THE JOURNAL — a place to store one’s thoughts while moving in the world. I find joy and solace when I look at my journal; the red and black pen, my journal’s trusted companion, stays within the journal’s bounds and juts from within the pages.

The color of the journal fades as the year wears on and my days unfold. When I scan from one side of the journal to the other, I can imagine how my life has changed. How I’ve changed.

Each page a snapshot of who I was for a brief moment when I grappled with time — questioning how to use it, longing to slow it down or speed it up, but for what?

The page, an embodiment of me, where my thoughts find their voice, although without a mouth to speak they remain two dimensional, part of the world but not, ideas rendered dormant, unless acted out in the physical world.

In a way, this is the essence of journaling; a place to store one’s thoughts, to question, to wonder; stored energy that builds like the feeling backstage before a performance. But the words that are penned contain a life of their own.

We refer to the heart of the story, the beating heart, a beating heart signifies life trying to live. But maybe that idea, those words, the thoughts on the page never get the chance to make it past the trial run, the audition, the journal.

We might labor to relinquish tangled thoughts by setting them down. But what about our ideas that find their way to the page in the middle of the night as the body stirs, the heart races, the mind quiets, when perhaps our lucid dreams are more real than how we live when the sun shines.

How do we know what’s truly us? Our body that moves, that exists, that beats and steps, that grabs and rests — our body that is seen — or the thoughts in the journal that can’t seem to find the light of day?

What if we went our whole life living through the page without enacting, without putting the thoughts in our head into action, without giving ourself the chance to fail.

What if we lived our whole lives in the trenches of our heart and soul without stepping out from the depths and into the field for a chance to run, a chance to find our way, a chance to truly live. What if we never escape the confines of the journal.

At least we have the journal. Our thoughts are never judged, like they are when enacted in the world. Our ideas never ridiculed, like they might be when embodied. But those who ridicule never took their chance.

Forever in the trenches, waiting to move.

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