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By Laurel Pattenden

Journalling has been popular for many years and with this popularity came an abundance of beautiful blank books to fill with our thoughts.

The journals are bound with covers ranging from plain colours to whatever your artsy soul calls you to. Assortment in sizes and paper types abound.

I have a personal pile of these assorted journals. Their covers range from plain Moleskins to leather to pictures of by Monet and Van Gogh Unfortunately, these beautiful books are still blank. Now one might quickly think their emptiness is because I am empty of thought.

This summer I bought another journal but this one is not entirely empty. It has questions. In fact, 365 questions. A question a day for a year. I am doing quite well with it and that’s because it has prompts. Prompts! It usually takes a question to arrive at an answer. So, this journal is getting filled with lots of writings and it appears I am not so empty-headed as my pile of blank journals implies.

The question for Day 244 is “About what things are you absolutely certain?” As you can see by this number and having only purchased the book last month that I do not go in the order found in the book. Anyways, isn’t it a great question. Here is my answer:

We can all be creative. Chocolate is really mana from heaven. Everybody needs a friend. We all need to be listened too without advice given. Change is certain. Rainbows are the inspiration for coloured ink pens. Aging. Trust is very fragile. Smiles heal. Our hearts can be broken. Rainy days are made for reading. We all like to be told we are beautiful. You can’t look young when you are old without looking foolish. Rest makes all things better. Our shoulders are not big enough nor strong enough to carry the world. My art will never be in the Ontario Art Gallery. There is authentic gentleness and honest kindness we just have to keep searching. There really is Spirit. I will never be slim again. There is evil and hate. We can find beauty. A blank journal will not fill itself. A deep breath can change the moment. Look both ways before crossing the street. We are all broken in some way. Wrinkles happen and so does birth and death. Walking on ice is always slippery. There really is Love. We can share without having less. We are lovable. A good cup of tea is restorative. Jesus loves me and you. Orthotic insoles really work. Life is the breath of God.  

So that was my answer to what things I think are absolutely certain. What would your answer be? Did I leave anything out? Let me know.

In a world that feels so uncertain it was an encouraging exercise to do. The journal is called a Self-Discovery Journal, 365 Questions, by 21 Exercises. This is not a paid promotion. Just happened to buy it. The book gives you one page to fill plus the margins, so the answer is finite. Off page the answer continues.  

Laurel is retired and likes to spend her time in her art studio.