My list for today included many places I’ve wanted to visit for a long time—India, Iceland, Utah—and a few I briefly glimpsed and wish to really see—Mount Shasta, Thailand. But the last entry surprised me—Israel.
You could say I’ve internalized my parents’ fear of danger there—from the violence and bombing throughout my childhood. You’d be half right.
Beneath, “Who will put their lives in danger by traveling to Israel?” is a deeper impulse—to leave the past—along with our Jewishness—behind. Assimilate.
Once again, a seemingly innocuous prompt—to imagine a visit to one of the places on my list—provokes an exploration of deep-seated beliefs and internal restraints, which have less hold for me when I bring them to the surface to examine them.
Rereading my journal entry, I realize I didn’t even do what the prompt says. Instead of imagining a visit, I explore why it surprises me for Israel to come up on the list! As you work through The Joy of Writing Journal, feel free to improvise and follow your muse.
Your Turn to Journal
A prompt is just that—something to prompt you. Where you go from there? That’s wide open.
As I mentioned yesterday, when I wrote The Joy of Writing Journal, I intended to help spark my readers’ creativity. I went for a light touch, focusing on qualities like playful, quirky and fun. But sometimes a prompt provokes a more intense exploration.
Today’s prompt may inspire a deep dive for you too, or it may just as likely bring up a long held desire to visit some exotic or beautiful land. Or perhaps the land of your ancestors! Maybe it will inspire your next vacation!
Where does today’s prompt lead you? Share an excerpt or any surprises, insights or delights that arose when you journaled today.