Journaling and writing during COVID-19

Dear Fellow Journalers,

During the Civil War, some soldiers were issued journals and asked to document their war-time experiences. The soldiers were from Wisconsin. Some of the journals survived and can be viewed at the Wisconsin Historical Society which was founded in 1846.

The Society has been chronicling crisis situations beginning in 1830 with the outbreak of malaria at Fort Crawford, the Spanish Flu in 1918 and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.

One of those who wrote of his experiences was a Col. Rufas Dawes of Mauson WI. He used his journals to not only document his emotions but also to recount battles. He kept a tally of the dead and wounded. One such heart-breaking account reads :”Corporal James Kelly of Company B shot through the heart and mortally wounded.He asked me to tell his parents he died a soldier.”

Based on these letters, the society launched the COVID -19 Journal Project designed so that future generations would better understand the virus effects on every day life.

While COVID -19 is not as violent as the Civil War, it is deadly and has turned  our lives upside down. So many things are different now. So many restrictions.

Write your Story for your future self or your grandchildren. Let them know how you coped. Open your journal now!





Never forget


9/11 American people – those gallant first responders and loved ones who became innocent victims.

Wednesday word


“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have been given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”

ST Francis of Assisi

The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This month’s journal. Is about journaling and writing. letters. Believe it or not, the. two are linked. Several years ago, I wrote about. un-sent letters (2017), the letters that were  handwritten but never delivered. The topic never really left me. Two weeks ago, I watched a fascinating interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian I greatly admire. She was speaking about her books and the research she conducted. She happened to mention letters written back and forth from soldiers to their families during the Civil War.

I began to wonder, if 1) did anyone write letters anymore and 2)  if anyone was saving. them. This virus is bound to be cured one day and what will our future selves look back on?

Writing to someone takes time. You have to find paper, a pen, an envelope and buy a postage stamp. Oh, and finally go to the post office. Something very important happens even before your letter gets opened. Your recipient reaches the undeniable fact, that you care about them, that they are important to you.

Letters can be touched. E-mails can. he read, saved or deleted. A letter can be unopened time and again and either displayed or put in a drawer.

Taking the time to write a letter is an example of mindfulness. You don’t have to worry about your internet slowing down, you can just write in the present.

Now, not all letters are “peaches  and cream”. Like the letters I mentioned earlier, if written during this viirus, you can bring emotional healing to both your recipient and yourself. In journaling, when we write about our feelings, we write slowly and methodically -taking one problem at a time.

Think about this: you write a letter to your sister who’s in a different state. You tell her about the .death of a neighbour or someone in your town. You write about food prices or shortages (I couldn’t find rice or anything pork for months!). You discover, when you read her letters to you, that your fears are her fears. Maybe she’s found an old recipe that your Mom used to make a family favorite during the Depression.

Writing letters may be a lost art, but I think we journalers are bringing it back one letter at a time.


Wednesday word

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This song is haunting and yet so full of promise and hope. We all need hope now.

Check out Main Title by Jerry Goldsmith on Amazon Music trackAsin=B002SVL6SO&ref=dm_sh_bBnJkjZtB5AySW4CxQpMbIxOl



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