Reading about the pop artist nun, Sister Corita Kent, this morning, I came across her description of ‘the sense diary’ in her book, Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit.
In it, she describes sense diaries as valuable tools which enable us to “become aware of and retain details often lost or imperfectly remembered,” and to “see the inter-relatedness of things and how specifics from one subject may apply to the next.”
In our sense diaries, she suggests that we include:
Favourite poems, prose and sayings. Words that mean something to you, that make you feel something.
Lists of musical compositions, composers, books to be read or books you have read, plays and films, seen or to be seen.
Factual descriptions of subjects of interest found in encyclopedias or other reference books (which often give new shades of meaning to the familiar and make surprising connections); new words; marketplace words and descriptions; single words that have a ring, that wake you, that make you want to do something, that are funny, mysterious, or strange to speak; words that when you look at them for a very long time seem to be foreign, misspelled or nonsense.
I love her concept of a diary being an “expandable vault” full of words, images and ideas.