May 21

Wreck this journal!

A small black paperback book with the title wreck this journal. A crumpled paper sits on top
Tear out and crumple

Every so often I come across a little gem that makes me think anew or challenges some of the assumptions I hold, often without even realising them. Wreck this Journal is one such gem. I actually bought a couple for friends for Christmas last year and loved it so much I had to have one too.

I am always more engaged when I’m having fun and when I’m looking at things differently. Wreck this Journal has lots of little suggestions, like collecting and sticking in those irritating little stickers that have appeared all over our fruit and veg these days. It also encourages you to throw it out of windows, drag it through the dirt and tear pages out. I was fascinated by how uncomfortable I felt doing some of these exercises.

Books are important to me, I probably have way too many of them, and they are all precious. I do not write in the margins, fold their corners or break their spines (I know that says something about me!). I have enjoyed throwing all that aside with this little book and Keri does warn at the beginning that ‘you may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in.’

I love her notion of creative destruction being liberating and I now carry it around with me to follow its various instructions randomly when I have a moment.

At the moment my favourite page is ‘fill this page with circles.’ Let me know if you have a favourite page.

Keri’s website is fun and thoughtful too, it’s well worth a visit.

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May 21

Play Time

A group of brightly coloured blocks with a single letter on each face.
My beloved writer's blocks

The other day I was meandering around the LIFT website to see what this year’s programme offered. Partly, because I was intrigued about the range of work and partly (admittedly a little selfishly) in that it might provide some good photo opportunities for my OCA coursework.

In doing so I came across the heading “An Adventure Map,” I was hooked, my imagination was sparked as were memories of childhood stories and buried treasure. I loved its playful nature and it seemed to chime with a number of other conversations I seem to have been having for the last few years about adults and play. 

When I run development sessions I generally talk about my approach and the principles that sit behind it. The usuals are in there about contributing, listening, taking personal responsibility and so on. I also like to include irreverence and fun. I don’t know if this makes sense to other people but it seems to me that there are times we can take ourselves too seriously.

I know I learn best when I am absorbed, when I am encouraged to look at things differently, when there is an opportunity to be quirky or take on other perspectives. I like to get all my senses involved and feel as well as think. In essence I often learn when I am being playful.

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