The Gardened Heart Journal Project
posted on August 24, 2016
In the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance, journals sit on shelves under two benches, waiting for visitors to write on their blank pages. Throughout the seasons, students, staff, community members, parents, and alumni have filled these journals with quick notes, long reveries, hopes, dreams, and sorrows. The passage of time is indicated in the journals as the semester begins, midterms approach, finals come crashing down, summer nears, and graduation is celebrated.
Writers expressed an eagerness to connect with their community on the journal pages, a yearning to be heard, and a need for their story to be recorded. Some authors simply desired to express their thoughts and feelings, however profound, insignificant, or fleeting. Overall, the tone of the journal entries is one of sharing, concern, and honest discernment.
As with many projects, this one began with a question: “What are people sharing or experiencing through the journals?” This simple question came to be answered through an engaging and eye-opening process. In the end, fifteen journals were reviewed, containing 3,162 journal entries/excerpts (including drawings). This report focuses on the themes of religion, contemplation, meditation, thoughtfulness, the garden and labyrinth, sacred places, relationships, campus experiences, suicide and depression, and encouragement and community.
Click here to view the final product in all its beauty. These pages will make you smile, make you laugh, and make you cry. On each page, a new unique and personal story worth sharing.