Journal with Charcoal

During Week Two of Jamie Ridler’s The Next Chapter: Wreck This Journal, I learned how fun it is to wreck things with friends!!

Over the course of my week, four different women sat at my kitchen table and slung food in, on, and around my journal — jam, coffee grounds, miso paste, black beans. I’ll let you know when the mold sets in.

Sarah drawing with charcoal

The crown jewel of the week was a walk with my friend Sarah.  She was totally game to bring the journal along on our hike.  When we stumbled upon an old fire ring, we looked at each other with a glint in our eyes.  Charcoal!!!  Here’s Sarah creating our masterpiece.  See the fire ring behind her?

car running over book

Sarah is so creative and zany! I shouldn’t have been surprised when she shouted suddenly,  “Let’s run the book over with my car!” Terror was my first response! I mean, I have NO qualms about smearing my journal with food and charcoal. But… ummmmm… running it over with a car?  Wouldn’t that break it’s spine?

“Come on, Gretchen.  If it breaks, you can just tape it back together again.” Oh, right.  Tape makes everything better!

Tire tracks on book after being run over

Nervous as I was when the car started rolling over my journal, I felt disappointed when the the spine didn’t break! Check out the gorgeous tire tracks, though. (Hmmmmm…. maybe next time I’ll paint the tires first).  Although you can’t see it in the picture, the cover is all pockmarked. Yay, asphalt!

As I reflect on my crazy week wrecking things with friends, I’m reminded of an exercise I did from the book Attracting Perfect Customers.  The book asks you to identify what gets you out of bed in the morning.  Here’s what I wrote:

I feel most alive when I am creating for, or with, other people in a way that enlivens and deepens our sense of connection to each other and the world.

In the context of the fabulous Wreck This Journal experiences, I now know that the opposite is also true — I also feel incredibly alive when I am DESTROYING for, and with, other people.  Destruction definitely enlivens and deepens my sense of connection to others and the world.

But then I have to ask myself — aren’t creating and destroying the same thing? What do you think?

By the way, if you want to check out how other women are wrecking their journals, visit this week’s The Next Chapter page.

And if you missed it, check out my video from week one in which I bang a coffee-soaked flower into my journal.