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I’m doing an isolation journal prompt series and welcome you to join! I’m only sharing responses to prompts that feel acceptable enough to share (don’t involve others for example).

Prompt

Write a travel journal entry from your home, could be your living room, could be your bed. Write as though you’ve just arrived in a new place (because, in many ways, you have) and what you’re observing about the place and how you feel in it. Write what you see, hear, and touch, as though it’s all brand new. What are you learning about yourself in this different land, with all its deprivations? If you’d like to turn this into a visual entry, draw a map complete with notes about this foreign land’s customs, rituals, and routines.

I marvel at this bedroom — the high ceilings, the solitary lamp, the three bay windows inviting you to explore the world beyond. I walk immediately to the windows to stare out and people watch foregoing exploring anything else for the time being. After a while, I look around to find that everything feels spacious and open despite the room technically being made of four beige walls. Put together, the pieces are simple here and tidy as if each inch has a purpose. It’s comforting to be in a place that’s so intentional and sparse. It feels as though it’s half a framework to build a life upon and half an empty slate to do the building. I get a strong sense of the person who occupies this space being within it. The books in particular are telling and highlight a sense of a life lived deeply as the topics criss cross everything from gay rights to travel to leadership.

I find ample writing supplies sparking a desire to sit down, stare out the irresistible windows, and tell loved ones about what’s going on in my head. There’s a safe distance here from the rest of the world to reflect especially when I realize there’s little to be distracted by. I dig through the trove of postcards and cards confused by the varying locations they feature. There’s an odd number of borderline romantic cards mixed in with more somber ones as if the person who bought these was both simply waiting for someone in their life to have a crisis or to fall in love suddenly with someone. I am surprisingly able to carefully pick out cards that match those I’m thinking of. I write until I lose track of time and my hand hurts. Plus, it seems the stamp supply might be running low.

None of the art that does hang on the walls goes together at first glance. The styles are distinct and even the frames they are placed in are different sizes. The first piece is more artistic with two people standing over a rocky cliff, the moon looming large behind them with words of what might be a song or poem making up the background. They seem in love and bravely facing the world. The second piece is telling — it’s a poem titled “Heartbreak” that reminisces at one point of “dreamcatchers full of dreams I dreamed with you”. It’s a mechanical display of heartbreak considering it’s written with a typewriter. The final piece of art is of a solitary person slightly smiling drawn in black and white. There’s a knowing look on their face. I wish I knew what was on their mind. On second thought, perhaps there is a common thread amongst these pieces.

The books, the cards, and the art all point to someone tugged between extremes. The closet reflects this with a winter coat and suit jacket placed next to a casual, thin camouflage hoodie. There aren’t enough items in the closet to get an understanding of what counts as everyday attire. The shoes are no help with soccer cleats neatly placed next to loafers. I secretly love that equal weight is given to both as if it’s just as important to be able to dash off to a soccer game as it is to look respectable at a nice event. It’s an impractical yet practical closet all at once — practical thanks to the flexibility it offers and impractical in the lack of depth.

As night falls, I can’t decide whether to close the blinds and cuddle up or invite the world in and pull the blinds up a tiny bit more. Tonight, I choose not to forget about the rest of the world.

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