Cry Hungary

(on a photograph in Cry Hungary
by Reg Gadney)

What a shock
finding yourself in that book
I bought by chance at the op shop.

You with your James Dean hair
and your perfect mouth
part of a reverent audience
as flames engulf a poster of Stalin.

Only one man looks at the camera
and he’s afraid.
These photos convicted
a lot of people later.

But you’d left by then
with the weight
of your seventeen years
with your broken mouth
your kicked in teeth
and no way back.

You snuck through
streets and sewers
past the roadblocks
past the guards
the treacherous people
and the helpful people.

Two weeks running
to Austria
and freedom
and exile.

I really did find this book in an op shop. And my husband, Ervin, really is in a photo in it. He is working on some autobiographical photographs at the moment and has photographed the photograph to use in a double exposure that he is planing, but when he emailed it to me (for use in this), the file got trashed. I like it so I’m adding it anyway. He is second from the right.

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Fellow Journal Keepers

On Sunday we had a group of students from the Centre for Creative Photography for a studio visit. It’s always fun showing people your work and getting to carry on about it a little. And if you happen to inspire someone… that is the best feeling.

I met a fellow journaler. Much more tidy and controlled than mine. Mine are all over the show, ‘like stork shit in mid air’ as my cute husband would say. (He has the best turn of phrase.)

We were mutually excited because we both cut them up to use for further art. She has pages all over their hallway at home and they used it to create a spoken word party, participants drawing words and phrases (if they wanted) to create stuff from.

Reminds me of this:

a zine made from pages from a much larger book called The Phrase Book, though not cut out like the work in Etcetera.

We shared how it feels sacrilegious cutting them up. But is worth it for the engagement of other people.

I find that journaling helps me to order my thoughts. It allows me to get them out of my head where, otherwise, they sort of rattle around collecting dust. It helps me focus on what is important to me or to nurture things that are still embryonic. Or I use it for things I don’t want to forget like these two stories from my grandkids the other day:

and just to have fun!

There is so much written about journaling these days, from psychologists’ treatises through the self-help industry, to the average Joe (me) raving on. But really, it saves my life and enlivens me.

How about you? I’d love to hear from any other avid journal keepers out there.

And if you don’t keep them your self, why don’t you give it a go? You don’t even have to keep a book. Woody Allen has a drawer where he throws bits of paper with thoughts and ideas. Apparently it’s where he goes when he feels stuck.

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