Thursday 5 November 2009

My journal - Life's Companion

Life's Companion, my journal, and a mug of green tea

Some months ago I bought the book, Life's Companion - Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Christina Baldwin, when I saw it mentioned on another blog. I wish I could remember which blog so I could credit the blogger but I can't. Bummer! Anywhoo, this morning, I felt drawn to select it from my bedside book collection and, after reading some of it, I have to say I'm impressed! Christina has awakened a new desire within me and already I am viewing my own journal in a whole, new light. Instead of keeping my journal in my room, it will be my constant companion no matter where I go so I can add to it as the urge takes me. I really like the layout of the book too. The right hand pages form a continuous narrative while the left hand pages reflect on and expand the narrative, giving examples of journal entries. I'm only one-sixth of the way through the book and already I would highly recommend it.

You've all heard of The Diary of Anne Frank, right? I remember it being part of our school curriculum in the 70's. This may be old news to you but I only found out in the past year that the book was considered to be a fraud at one point. I was shocked! It is said that Otto Frank, Anne's father, commissioned his secretary, Isa Cauvern and her husband Albert Cauvern , a writer, to author the first book from supposed letters written by his daughter but there is a lot of speculation as to how much of it was actually fact. Some say the final edition of The Diary of Anne Frank was re-written by Meyer Levin, an American author. Apparently, handwriting experts claimed that the diary was written in ballpoint pen which weren't even available until 1951 yet Anne Frank died from Typhus in 1944. There was also claims that the handwriting didn't match Anne Frank's handwriting. Here are some links regarding it, if you're interested - The Anne Frank Diary Fraud and Frank FAQ. Interesting stuff! I also found it interesting that Christina Baldwin mentions Anne Frank's diary in Life's Companion and she states how impressed she was that the diary was so well written for someone so young.

I checked this link at Wikipedia which states The Diary of Anne Frank was later confirmed to be authentic so it's hard to know what to believe.

I think that, regardless of who really wrote The Diary of Anne Frank, its heart-wrenching account made a huge impression on many people worldwide. I've certainly remembered it's impact after all these years and I would like to believe it is authentic.

Love, light and peace


  1. Your new journal is pretty and if there's a book out there to help me journal, I should buy it too! I've started them in the past and I quit because I absolutely bore myself to tears. I feel I have NOTHING to say or else I hold back because I fear somebody will read it. You make me want to try again :)

    I think another goal for the new year is to read The Diary of Anne Frank! I never have!
    Have a great day Serena and thanks for always taking the time to visit and encourage me♥

  2. On journal writing - the book that fueled my desire to journal is 'Leaving A Trace - The Art of Transforming a Life into Stories' by Alexandra Johnson. Ifound it browsing discount boks at the bookstore when I was particularly open to anything to guide an aspiring writer. Going to look for your recommendation next chance I get to visit the bookstore (I hate buying anything online I can't peek inside first).

    As to Anne Frank - imagine one day years from now when someone 'authenticating' tries to verify our handwritten journals and blogs as being by one and the same person. Someone will always dispute authenticity, don't you think?

  3. wow, i did not know that about her diary...learn something ndew everday :-)

  4. I've never read the diary of Anne Frank, but real or not I think its a stark reminder of the past. it does leave such a lasting impression on people and makes people think. I've seen film adaptations of it that have made me really stop and think, I really have to remember to read the book.

  5. Serena -- Thanks for sharing Christina Baldwin' book. I used to keep regular journals, but haven't been able to journal is a long time.

    I love the look of your journal -- it reminds me of something you would have; it very pretty and peaceful. Have fun journaling and I will check out the book:~)

  6. Sounds like an interesting read. I have never been able to keep up with journaling.

    I don't think I have read the book of Ann Frank, but I saw the movie.

  7. I remember reading it as a young girl. Then I started writing my own diary. Sadly I don't know where that diary has gone.
    But yes as Jennifer says it is a stark reminder for us. I was totally taken up by that book.

  8. I'm glad I got this book,'s all about getting to know our own thoughts from within...truly connecting. Lots of great tips on getting started writing too.

    Sheila, I also hate how you can't flip through the books online. I've taken note of the book you mentioned....sounds interesting. Yes, so own handwriting changes day-to-day so would probably be impossible for anyone to authenticate years from now.

    onsilentsea - I was shocked so I think I will sit on the side of those who believe her diary to be true and not fictional.

    Jennifer - That's the way I like to look at it too.

    Thanks, Sara. The journal was gifted to me from my daughter, Michelle...she knows my tastes well. I love it! :)

    Books always go deeper into detail so you may like to read the book one day, Shell. xo

    Shashi, it certainly was a captivating book/diary. I used to keep diaries when I was a young girl but I only managed to keep one with me throughout the years. I don't even know what happened to the rest of them.

  9. The Diary of Anne Frank is one that I think I may have leafed through as a child but never actually read as I can't remember it (and I think one would remember such a book) and yet I can visualize holding the book in my hands, flipping though the pages.

    Now I have 2 more to add to my "To Read List" (Life's Companion being the second)

    Funny that I read this post of yours today because just yesterday I read Hana's Suitcase by Karen Levine. Are you familiar with this book?

    It is a true story of Hana Brady whose suitcase ends up in The Tokoyo Holocast Education Centre and Fukimo Ishioka, the director of the Centre who is determined to find out who Hana was to make her real for the children she is educating. Very touching story. Check it out.

  10. I agree with you -- whether authentic or not, The Diary of Anne Frank is heart wrenching.

    Life's Companion sounds like a book I would enjoy and could benefit from at this juncture in my life. Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. Karmacoy - I'm feeling like I want to read The Diary of Anne Frank again to refresh my memory. Hana's Suitcase sound like an interesting read. I love true stories.

    Sherry♥Lee - That's how I feel too. It's one of those books that makes you stop and see the world through someone else's eyes.

  12. I never heard that they thought Anne Frank's diary was falsified..humm? I prefer to think it was real, too. Regardless, it effected millions of people in a postive way they didn't forget--and that is a good thing.

    I love the journal! Michelle picked a beautiful one. I love the bits of bold color contrasts. Looks like something I would have, too. Sounds like an interesting book, too. Let us know how you like it as you make your way thru to the end. :):)