The other day I was at Plum Farm, visiting my cousins, Mike and Donna. I was writing in my journal when Mike said, “I love your journal.” I can’t really explain why, but this statement meant a lot to me. Not that many people really notice the things that matter to others, but Mike noticed this.

I decided to share with them some of my favorite pages from my recent trip to Turkey and I came up with this page which I am posting above. I thought how it is one of my favorite pages in this journal, and perhaps in any journal I’ve done. There seems to be a direct correlation between my level of happiness and my ability to express myself visually. Words always come – ad nauseum.

But a painting or a really good photo, these seem to come from another place perhaps (again I’m thinking of Henry Miller as I often do in this blog) because I don’t really know, or care that much, about what I’m doing. I have almost zilch ego investment in this. I do it because I love it. I love to sit and draw and paint and write in my journal. And, as I’ve said before, I can almost only do this when I am traveling because when I’m on the road I’m in the moment.

This particular moment, captured here, was our first night in Goereme. It was quite cold out actually, but we were sitting on the terrace, having a glass of very good Turkish wine, and watching the light fade behind the hills. I had my journal and one of those thick waterproof pens and I just began to draw the shapes in front of me. I decided to let it go across two pages, something I haven’t done enough of, but I have seen other journals that do this and I like the space it allows. The drawing was very quick. But then all of my drawings are.

It got colder out. We went inside and ate our shish kebab or whatever we had that evening. In the night as is often the case with me I couldn’t sleep. It is not that I am tired and can’t fall asleep. It is that I actually don’t get tired. When something is going on inside my head, I’m up until dawn.

Larry soon fell asleep, but I walked out onto the patio attached to our room. It was a cold, crystal clear night and I could see the ferry chimneys, the hills beyond, the lights of the town. Gulls soared and somewhere a rooster crowed. I was shivering and went back inside. I took out my paints and began to paint what I’d drawn that evening over cocktails. At some point I decided to use blue. It was quick and spontaneous and left me very satisfied.

Perhaps an hour or so later I did feel tired and soon fell asleep.

Originally written for The Writer and the Wanderer by Mary Morris.

posts by Mary Morris