Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dream Journals

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Someone was asking about my dream journals - what size, how do I use them, preferences, etc. I was cleaning up a book case this morning so I can move it to paint the floor. It mostly holds my dream journals and sketchbooks so I had them in a nice stack.

Here are, I think, all of my dream journals. There were more that I actually threw away during a divorce. I was disappointed that recording my dreams didn't reveal more to me about my interior life at the time. Still, I have all these, that's a good thing. On the left in back are the earliest - I used loose sheets of notebook paper, keeping them on a board and moving them to a binder. They seemed a little large, but it worked. Then for years I liked the 6.75 by 9.5 wire bound notebooks - they were easy find, not too large and worked. But the wire always bothered me.

Occasionally I would make a book for fun, to try a binding style. A few of those became dream notebooks. The leather one with a big button was made from an old leather skirt I found super cheap in a thrift store.

More recently I started using the Moleshine cahiers. They are slightly larger - 7.5 x 9.75. Folded in half they weren't too large and didn't have the annoying wire. But they had a lump from the fold and it was hard to write on part of the page. I try to not move when I wake, remember dreams and then write them down without moving. So I want to just reach over, pick up the note book and write. It's a little awkward and sometimes hard to read. Later in the day I try to look at them, between the lines I re-write words I think are too scribbly to read later. The lump in the page made it harder to write legibly.

Then I tried taking apart the Moleskine cahiers and making signatures of four sheets each. I was writing on them unbound and then binding them together when I had 12 signatures. For some reason I like the number 12 and usually stop there. The two above were made this way. I found the paper is way too fragile to hold up to the coptic stitch, my go-to. For the second one I put strips of paper in the center of each signature to make it a little stronger. Still it's annoying and makes it more awkward to bind.

This one is ready to bind. It's made from Mohawk Superfine text weight paper - it's about 6.25 by 9.5 inches, a size the paper tears down to. I don't want to cut it and throw away anything. It's a comfortable size for laying on the bed next to me, I can support it with a slightly larger piece of Davey board and clip it together with a space pen. The space pen writes upside down, a feature I don't need often, but it works really well. I know this will bind well because I use the same paper for some of my sketchbooks.

Here are some signatures beside my bed, spread out a bit so you can see the layers, and the Davey board that supports them. I keep extra signatures in my nightstand.


Amanda said...

Wow! I am very impressed by your dedication Judith. It’s been a long time since I regularly journaled in any way, other than my visual journal for art ideas. I would like to start again but I wake up so slowly that I find it hard to start any regular practice. So many things seem to be best done on rising. Do you look back over your journals a lot? How useful do you find the process?

Hilke said...

Hello Judith,
I get a pop-up from blogger informing me that you use cookies.

It's interesting how you bind your dream journals. Scribes in the old age had a similar problem: They would of course not write in blank books (never knowing how much paper they'd need). Instead they would write in signatures. These were often held together by a temporary stitch. Each finished signature could then be transferred to another temporary binding, (for example with a simple tacket to a leather wrapper which would keep the pages safe). Sometimes, however, the limp (leather) binding would be the final housing for the pages. For example when the contents were records. The big disadvantage in this case especially if they were important records was that it is near impossible to tell whether in a limp binding one signature had been exchanged or added at some point. Solution: The thread that made up the initial pamphlet stitch was left long and hanging out of the limp leather cover on the bottom. All of the threads were gathered together and embedded in a sigil. - Voilá

Judith Hoffman said...

Amanda - I don't often look over many of my journals, there are years of art ideas that I could throw away if I weren't emotionally attached. But I do read thru the dream journals. They can be good sources of imagery or phrases, although I go thru long periods of having the most boring dreams. I also hope that paying attention to dreams helps me to get some dreamy content in my art. I tend to be so literal, so "real" that it seems to be a stretch at times. And at the same time I love artwork that is dreamy in some way. I do find I can't remember my dreams if I don't write them down immediately when I wake. But other kinds of journaling might work for you. Still I do think visual journals are the best, most important and most useful. They show progress and store ideas. They are also helpful for starting up again when I have a period of not working. Do you look thru your art journals a lot? I assume that process works for you.

Judith Hoffman said...

Hilke thank you for this - it's very interesting. I didn't know scribes used a similar method, but it makes sense. Having the signatures stored in a temporary protective covering is so logical. And the part about gathering the threads and embedding them is wonderful. I do want to check out your skill share class on indirect ticketing soon - I was going to wait until after we have some guests visiting, but I see I can get a one month free trial right now. That's a good deal!