Word lists.  I’ve gone back to these in my journal.  Actually I haven’t journaled in a while, mostly haven’t had the time, but I read the poem The Testing Tree by Stanley Kunitz and got inspired.  The images are so strong.   Here’s an excerpt:

Around the bend

that tried to loop me home

dawdling came natural

across a nettled field

riddled with rabbit-life

where the bees sank sugar-wells

in the trunks of the maples

and a stringy old lilac

more than two stories tall

blazing with mildew

remembered a door in the

long teeth of the woods.

All of it happened slow:

brushing the stickseed off,

wading through jewelweed

strangled by angel’s hair,

spotting the print of the deer and the red fox’s scats.

My word lists are associative; I pick a random topic and jot down everything I can that connects to this topic.  Some of my topics and examples are:  

Underneath Things – fuzzy, deep, dark, dusty, patient, forgotten, alone, stringy, frayed, rough, low, hairy, secret, small, misfit, shadows, honest, sad, watchful, waiting, harbinger

Cat Things – tip-tapping, warm, dancing skin, graceful, gray, patient, watchful, kneading, dusty, hungry, happy, slapping, curious, brave, true, wise

I often see a connection between my lists, which sometimes prompts me to do some explorative writing. 

What about you?  Do you make word lists?  How do you journal?