Some of my most memorable journaling from childhood was on a picnic. I would not journal while on a picnic with other people; it was often a solo venture to the backyard.
Whether it was after school or a random summer day, I would grab a book, a journal, a ball point pen, a blanket, and (depending on the season) cherry tomatoes from the garden or apples slices in vinegar, and sit in the backyard reading and writing.
I would write about school, the family, or what I dreamed of doing some day. I would attempt poetry and know it was terrible. Then I would switch to reading the book of the moment and wonder when I would write as well as this author.
An introvert, I needed time alone after spending all day around people at school, or after playing with friends on a Saturday. Those times with other people were fine, but one was always in that space having to answer questions, having to be social, having to perform.
Yet, here in the out-of-doors, I performed for no one but myself. (Well, maybe for the birds who sometimes wanted a morsel or two.) Despite my frustration at the quality of the writing, it was satisfying to try to improve. Being in a space of writing for the fun of it, not feeling that one must be onstage at all times was a privilege and a necessity that I did not fully recognize at the time.
On the blanket, the wind would whip around me and blow my pages around, insisting that I shut the book and pay attention to nature. I would comply.
Through the years, the need of the journal on a picnic increased. It is a simple, safe space in a complex world. As you age, society requires you to step outside, not for the solace of the birds, nor to feel the wind, but to perform onstage to ever increasing audiences as the marker of your value in your industry.
However, my journal (7 inches by 9 inches) on a twin size blanket, performing for my own pleasure is the greatest stage I ever want to play.