breadcrumbs 2: the paper part of it all

Evidence1a

in the timeless classic Gift From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes:
“What a wonderful day, I think, turning it around jun my hand to its starting point again. What has made it so perfect? Is there not some clue here in the pattern of this day? To begin with, it is a pattern of freedom. Its setting has not been cramped in space or time. An island curiously enough, gives a limitless feeling of both. Nor has the day been limited in its kinds of activities. It has a natural balance of physical, intellectual, and social life. It has an easy unforced rhythm.”

yesterday i told you about Evidence, the visual and tactile log i’m keeping of this year. what i didn’t tell you (because i couldn’t find a way to insert it seamlessly) is that the inspiration for the design of the cloth came from this moment of sky spotted while walking one day when i was trying to sort all this out:

Evidenceclouds2

Evidence1b

i’m after the same kind of day anne writes about. and because i’m on the finite side of infinity, i recently devoted a great deal of time to determining what i want to do with whatever time i have left. being a systems girl of the first order, and preferring color coded systems for visual delight as well as facility, i’ve been using color as a sorting system since dirt was a child.

my first color coded system went like this:
red = family (blood)
green = finances (the color of money)
blue = reference, factual, retrievable information (i just like blue)
yellow = opportunities, fun (sunshine)
i used these colors throughout my life – in my day planner, on file folders, on the calendar.

last year i matched what i wanted to have to show for my life to the colors of the chakra system, using the color biographies provided by my friend bridget. it looked like this:
red: movement
orange: creative pursuits, time spent in the throes of creativity
yellow: moments of spontaneity, the unexpected
green: shipping and producing
aqua: blog posts, storytelling, journal writing
pink: relating to others
violet: memorizations, reading poetry and other good books, living and creating by moon cycles

Chakracolorcode

i started keeping a book of amazements last year in which i documented each color’s contribution to that particular day. it was fun to keep, and it did keep me more focused, but there was still tweaking to be done*, so this year, i tightened the focus and streamlined the colors, allowing space for that “easy unforced rhythm” and that natural balance while still enjoying a daily sense of accomplishment:
red: movement
orange: making
aqua: marking
purple: laughing
these colors always appear in this particular order on the Evidence cloth to distinguish the days.

RED: moving
as in moving my body through space. last september, i quit wearing the fitbit (a gift from my son for Christmas 2012) as jewelry and started taking it seriously. i now walk a minimum of 12.5k steps (or 5-7 miles) every day. every. single. day. i also do the occasional yoga, and whenever possible, i take dance breaks. my goal? i want you to see less and less of me.

ORANGE: making
as in stitching or creating assemblages and collages. i log in the hours spent stitching every day and note the particular project worked on. i like to do a collage every sunday to close out the week (it’s something i can start and finish in a couple of hours), and am slowly gathering bits and oddities that i’ll use in assemblages. my goal here: building a legaSEE. we’ll talk more about this later.

AQUA: marking
as in writing, be it in a journal, a blog post, a book, or a notecard. doesn’t matter, i just know that if i miss a day of writing, i start all over when i pick the pen up again – even if there’s only a day’s gap. that’s just the way it works.

PURPLE: laughing
as in surprise, wonder, chortle – anything that ignites a sound from me that ranges from “hmmmmmm” to “oh!” to a full-body guffaw. anything that makes me giddy. for this, i make more detailed notes in purple ink in my books of amazements.

* like not having to carry 14 pens around with me (2 of each color in case one runs out of ink along the way), for example

Booksofamazement

two important notes:

1) i change, so this year i’ll keep quarterly books of amazements to give myself room to move around.

2) of course i also want an accounting of accomplishments – written testament to the annual accumulation of accomplishments – so i’ll be keeping a log of things like books read in their entirety (and reviewing them over at goodreads), projects completely finished, and miles put on my new shoes.

and, i have specific notions about what i want to turn out/produce/accomplish this year. but we’ll save that for another day.

[ ::: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers is a planning, productivity junkie. She just is.

5 Comments

  1. moonsugar

    I will have to think on color and what emotions it equates. I am always astonished by the complex web of your organization and compilation s of ideas.. it stuns and astounds me..~smile~ and You got me to go to Goodreads..

    • whollyjeanne

      you’re at goodreads – yay! oh what fun you’ll have there. what fun we’ll have there. look forward to your reviews, sugar.

  2. wordsmithtom

    There’s a whole lot of “I don’t know”
    On the road where I has to go…

    I totally see the picture of the sirrus clouds and the connections to the squares on the quilt; and the desire to leave a legacy…who doesn’t…But do we really get to edit that manuscript, or just write it? And aren’t we all using washable chalks instead of indelible ink? Maybe we are closer to those clouds….constantly morphing into a new form of water….rain, runoff, ebb and flow of tide and beach, drifting to where we need to go…I don’t know…

    So I pray for the guiding sight,
    To help me through the traffic light,
    As I let the faster traffic
    And the newer cars
    scurry bye.

    • whollyjeanne

      i’d prefer to just write it, my legacy, and yet i can’t help wondering every now ‘n then, if i will be remembered. these clothes – i create them for me, because i can’t not create them. you understand that better than some. but will they mean anything to the children? does it matter? some days it does. i try to just acknowledge it and keep moving. love your analogy of clouds to a creative life. i hadn’t seen that – just saw the shapes and, in a flash, the image of what the Evidence cloth would look like – settled, just like that when i spied the clouds. but yes – clouds, constantly reshaping, reforming. so many forms and manifestations and uses. i’m a planner – the structure (even tho self-imposed and quite subject to change) gives me comfort, a framework, a ladder to climb. (aha – i’ve just completed several sketches of a series of ladder cloths i’ll create. didn’t even think of planning as a ladder.) thank you for sharing your wisdom, for your reassurance, for your important questions that you toss out then allow me to answer.

      • wordsmithtom

        I pose questions for you to answer because I know your wisdom is far greater than your self-assuredness; I play the role of Socrates, challenging the young to think, not that you are so much younger, just that I started on this path of self-awareness quite a few years back. Oh, and I plan as well…I’ve a dozen unfinished ideas sketched out in my work area, sacks and boxes sorting the pieces that will one day join together. I see the finished product, sometimes….sometimes only the path. Just a different way of processing and proceding….So, keep plannning and keep showing others what you think and feel. It has far more value than you realize.

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