The quest begins

Although I said I would wait till till the new year to post again I have been working away at making blog posts.   I’m starting to feel I need to start posting again to clear the way forward into 2019.     Here’s the first one:-

Thoughts on ways to age positively –

In my post time-for-a-quest I wrote ” Growing older and moving into the third stage of life I find this culture is not providing me with models of aging that sustain me.  The medical model of age as a disease is sickening- literally –  the cultural idea of denying and/or defying age doesn’t work for me either.   Of course bodies age and interests change – that is the way of life.  The idea of retiring to play golf and bingo bores me witless.   There has to be more fulfilling ways to age.”

When I attempted to sort through my thoughts around aging I found I had so many conflicting ideas they overwhelmed me.   I needed some way to organise the chaos within – some way of externalizing my thoughts so that I could sort them out.  I decided the first step would be to make an art journal.

To get started with this I collected together 8 small pieces of watercolour paper that were roughly the same size (15 x 20 cm).    I then painted on these with acrylic paint.   At this stage I just slapped on colour to cover the white paper.


When the first side was dry I turned the paper over and painted the back.DSCF3008

Once both sides were dry I started embellishing them with words and pictures cut from magazines.   I also used a few of my own photos and digital images I had printed out some time ago.   To select the magazines pictures I flicked through old magazines without much conscious thought.   Whenever I found a picture that made me look twice I tore out that page.  Once I had pile of pages I cut out the bits of the pictures that attracted me.

I struck the words and images onto my painted papers using a glue stick.  At this stage I had stop myself getting caught up in my thoughts.    Whenever I started to manipulate the pages so that they reflected a specific idea the process would bog down.  For example, I stuck the words ‘building blocks’ onto one of the papers in the photo below but soon after taking the photo I pulled them off again as they seemed too definitive.  Luckily the paper was still damp from the painting process so they peeled off easily.DSCF3010.JPG

I then drew and painted on the papers – again without too much pre-meditated thought.


Once all the paper was dry I folded the pieces in half and collected them into a book format.   To make a cover  I used a piece of leather.  I punched three holes into the pages and the cover and laced them together with thonging.

Although a lot of the pages were incomplete the book began to develop a theme.   On one page  I had glued a photo of a Buddhist woman on a spiritual pilgrimage.  It was only when I had assembled the book that the words “Aging as a Spiritual Journey” popped into my mind.   I wrote them on a scrap of paper and glued them onto the page.


I now had a journal to work in and a broad theme to work with…

more in the next post

20 thoughts on “The quest begins

  1. Pingback: Authenticity and Imperfection – An Introduction – Memories & Thoughts

  2. Pingback: Aging as a Spiritual Journey – Being in Nature

  3. Pingback: Defining the Journey – Being in Nature

  4. I follow a 22 year old blogger from India. She also talks about stages. I commented to her that I’m 71 and still trying to figure it out. No matter what age we are all trying to figure things out. I love the way you are trying to figure things out. It’s what keeps us going. I look forward to following in 2019 your spiritual quest. Isn’t that what life is all about, the great adventure, the journey. Happy New Year Suzanne.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hélène Vaillant

    I love this quest you are on Suzanne. It is phenomenal and creative so far. Inspiring and exciting, giving me ideas to move forward into the new year.
    Happy New Year to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An interesting and random way to form a journal, I like the idea. It would be a challenge for me not to be too organising I tend to be a “dot the i and cross the t” sort of person. You’ve come up with a great theme. Best wishes for your quest in 2019

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pauline. Being neat and planning ahead doesn’t really go with this type of journal making. I like to some creative outlets where I feel I can be messy. 🙂 Thanks for your good wishes. Happy new year.

      Liked by 1 person

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