Can we look at sad rants in our journals in a new way?

No doubt my collection of 300 + journals, sketchbooks and image-idea files are filled with more sad rants than with positive day-to-day activities.

For many of us, our journals are a safe harbour in which to deposit racing thoughts- a place of privacy in which to address the darkness that we all struggle with from time to time.

This blog is often that safe journaling haven for me.

It is a way for me to demystify the darkness for myself- and thereby, perhaps, demystify it for my readers as well.  Maybe, by sharing the good, along with the bad, I bring some lightness in and create connection.

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I am driven to drawn dead birds.  Perhaps this is sad ranting through drawing.

Dead sparrow found outside the LGH cafeteria, 2012:


Recall: my post from Feb 20, 2016:

To me, the journal is an essential vomitorium, a depository, a giant worry doll that contains it, holds it- allows for LETTING GO.  It allows me to make sense.

Dead heron, Stanley Park, 2014

Also recall in my post from Feb 20, 2016:

It is evident that the journal was a depository of ramblings to quiet the brain- at the time I felt INSANE and incoherent- but now in retrospect I actually seem to make some sense. Though I want to yell at the woman I was then- for I seemed incapable of seeing the truth behind what was happening, I can now see that I, in the end, worked through to the truth on my own- I worked it out. I GOT IT.


So can we look at these sad rants in a new way?  Read between the lines and yes- accept the words for their face value, but try to find the positive?

For example, on March 2, 2016, I wrote:

What if I stopped caring about ANYTHING?  

This can be read, and indeed it was written during a panic attack, as alarming.  But really- is it not simply about SURRENDER? 

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Maybe it goes the other way as well.  Maybe by looking past the positive veneer, peeling it back, we can perhaps get some answers as to what is really lurking underneath.

… through the sunny cellophane of which not very appetizing frustrations can be readily distinguished. – Vladimir Nabokov

Of course, let’s not forget that sometimes positive is actually positive, and negative is just really about a shitty sad day- nothing more, nothing less!

The key, I feel,  is to spew it out, record it, acknowledge it and, if so inclined, take time to look at it in a different way.

Anyway, I am rambling here.  Not sad ranting– rambling.  But today, I want to celebrate my not very anonymous sad rants.  I celebrate that I am driven to put pen to paper!

Related articles:

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Pay attention to the birds: Part 5- Sparrow

Bliss- walking my old dog slowly, oh so slowly, in our West End neighborhood listening to the sweet song of the white-throated sparrow.  Miraculous.

I walk with a smile on my face.  I am filled with self-love for truly the first time in my life.  I know my own worth and I can sing it from the rooftops.  Today.  For today is all I have, and that is beautiful!  And lo and behold-

The sparrow reflects self-worth.   If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.

The song sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth. [source]


The Sparrow is ever vigilant in her goals. She is always bustling for her food, foraging for her nests, and gathering for her young. Fastidious and productive, the Sparrow is a reminder that idle hands (and idle minds) should be avoided in order to live a full, healthy life.

She is a master of flight, and camouflage, and as such the Sparrow teaches us to use our creativity to get around in life – think outside the box, and be creative in solving our problems.

As an bird totem, the Sparrow speaks of higher thoughts and ideals. She beckons us to keep our burdens as light as we can in order to avoid a heavy heart. [source]

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

My bird, Asterix, age 26.
My bird, Asterix, age 26.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

PART 3: Pigeon

Part 4: Hummingbird

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Pay attention to the birds: Part 4- Hummingbird

hummingbird Frida

I came across a bush the other day abuzz with crimson hummingbirds.  BREATHTAKING.

If the hummingbird shows up in your life as a spirit animal, it may remind you to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and take time to enjoy yourself. The hummingbird’s wisdom carries an invitation to take part in and draw to you life’s sweetness, like you would drink the nectar of your own flower.

The call of the hummingbird totem will guide you to open up to love and lightness in your emotional life. When you see your totem, you are encouraged to open up your heart and expose yourself more to joy and love. It might be time to show how you feel to loved ones or people who are close to you. [source]

I recall watching hummingbirds land on my sea of sunflowers in my Roberts Creek garden.

I often dream of them.

From Dream Journal- the rat, the jay and the hummingbird

The hummingbird reminds me that by taking small steps, I can achieve my dreams.

I have turned a new leaf of late— simplifying my life and allowing myself to take those smaller steps.

And to NOT complicate the path.  It’s all good.

If you have bitten off more than you can chew and if you were not ready for your bid for power, it will be obvious. Do not judge yourself, just make an adjustment and take a baby step instead of a huge leap. Practice gratitude for all of your opportunities and when you feel overwhelmed go back to handling the details in front of you, one at a time. – – Source


I spent a beautiful morning with Brenda Morrison and her students teaching a 4th year Criminology class with Laura Mack at SFU on February 23, 2015.

The lovely egg above was a gift from Brenda- made by “lifer” at Ferndale Institute.  It features a hummingbird with the word “spirit.”

In October, Brenda gave me a beautiful book from another SFU class: The Flight of the Hummingbird. The theme of the book is the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal.  

“I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya.  

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

PART 3: Pigeon

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers