leaf book

it's very cold today, zero degrees with wind. a little bit of new snow blew around in the night. my toes are cold, and my head fuzzy from lack of sleep. even after the deep physical pleasure of yoga last evening, i did not sleep well. was it the wind, worries about money, or the full blue moon waxing? doesn't matter. 

i have long examined my own drawing, notes, journaling, for many reasons. i have gone on long-time hiatuses from journaling. and i teach journaling to my students. (i teach ELA in an alternative GED program for high school kids). i am following the journals of several artists online, and am very interested in how we record our stories, why we record them, and what it's all about. for now i just want to mention this, i intend to return to it from time to time. the little shifu books are all journals of a sort. they each record a story, and they all trace themselves back to one of my first books, a narrative printed and painted concertina book called no songs but crickets. i made it in 1995 and it was one of those "organic" things, it just happened. very few other books happen that way, but if you are ever on the receiving end of this kind of grace you know it. usually, it's just work. good or hard, but work. crickets was play instead. 

people who make visual journals for whatever reason fascinate me, or rather, the journals themselves, as objects, artifacts. why this is isn't important to me at this point. that it happens, is. these students of mine don't like to write. they have voices, stories, visions and dreams, but mostly as special education students their stories have been silenced or changed by some adult. and so i require them to write in their journals, and i teach them ways to make art in them, and they do. their journals become objects of importance to them, too. 

what IS it about a visual narrative? a story?