Natural Diary

Welcome dear nature’s lover. I would like to share a simple tool for connecting with nature, the “natural diary”. There’s nothing easier than explaining how to do it as there are no rules, everyone can do it in their own way.

You just need a notebook, some writing or drawing tools and going outside in a piece of nature.

Please choose carefully your stationery: pencils, pens, markers, chalks, highlighters, pastels, water colors… And what paper? White, colored, striped, checkered… Each material will differently effect your process and produce a different expressive nuance. But no worry, you can start just with a common notebook and a pencil, then eventually change the tools from time to time.

What is in the pages of the natural diary? Words, drawings, tiny things, leaves, petals, spots, signs. The shape of a cloud. The refrain of a song. The trajectory of an insect. A collection of shadows. A memory. Any free association of images or words born in this short time, free from daily commitments.

It could mean tuning into the upward thrust of the blades of grass. No matter the outcome but the gesture, the connection.

Try to take some time for your diary periodically. You don’t need to follow the order of the pages, meaning that you can go back and forth as you want, or leave a blank page, like when the color passes through the other side of the sheet and leaves a mark that you don’t like: maybe, after some time, you will transform it.

The writing of the natural diary occurs in a special “suspended” time, when your eyes and mind are open, receptive, but not looking for anything specific. Things will come, maybe just a word or a small sign, leaning back on the page. It is a way to legitimize and allow yourself to not be productive or functional, at least for a while.

It is a kind of small gesture of silent contemplation and reconciliation with nature, and maybe even with yourself.

Human beings feel isolated in the cosmos, since they are no longer embedded in nature and have lost their emotional unconscious “identity” with natural phenomena. These, in turn, have gradually lost their symbolic meanings. Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry divinity, rivers are no longer the house of the spirits, nor trees the vital principle of man (…). No voice reaches people from stones, plants or animals any more, nor does the human beings turn to them sure of being heard. The contact with nature is lost, thus the profound emotional energy that this symbolic contact released has failed.

Carl G. Jung, “Man and His Symbols”