Hugh’s Journal


The feature Hugh’s Journals has appeared here on Sundays. For some basic background on Rev. Hugh Bebb Jones and his notebooks click here.

Hugh journals are filled with contexts and connections big and small. He will note some quote and then more often than not give it a wonderful context.

The connections and connotations he sees in almost everything is related to his theology and his faith. God is continuously working in the world and through others, if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.


More Journal Notes

“Church Door, Albany, Minnesota” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

From my Vacation Journal

7:50AM and the sun is coming finally through the window, reversing the shadows on my coffee cup.

There is something satisfying about filling pages of journals. This one and the work-a-day one are just about full. I have replacements in waiting.

Will anyone ever look at them but me?

I suspect not.

And to what end. I write because I believe that writing is was I was created to do.

That sounds… grandiose.

But I was created to be a husband and a father and a writer.

I am not saying to be great at any of them. But I think I have been very good as a father and relatively good as a husband.

The writing, of course, is another matter altogether.

I write, I dream, I wonder.

I am limited and unlimited by a stubborn personality that will not share my writing to be critiqued. Which will not let me open my writing to mentors or peers or suggestions.

I am am freed and doomed to do it my own way.

To find delight and wonder and pain and anger where most others find only the ideas they have inherited and the words they have been given.

I was lucky enough to find a woman who keeps me tethered to the earth and reality.

I was lucky enough to have daughters who are brilliant and beautiful and kind.

I was lucky enough to have pain and suffering that I could endure.

I was lucky enough to be born when and where I was.

I was lucky enough to be born male and white and hence, to have easier battles to face.

I was lucky.

Travel Journal

Sue and I took a long weekend to the prairie country of Western Minnesota. It is nice to get out where the horizon is far and the wind is free.

I spent the lazy weekend reading parts of many novels, writing, and resting.

I have one journal volume that I call “A Traveling Journal.” I have been bringing with me since our trip to Ireland in May 2016. It has gone with me to:

  • Ireland (County Mayo, Sligo, Norther Ireland, Dublin)
  • South Padre Island, Texas
  • Black River Falls, Wisconsin
  • North Dakota (Jamestown, Dickinson)
  • Montana (Billings, Helena, Dillon)
  • Chicago
  • Iron River, Wisconsin
  • Norcross, Minnesota

187 pages so far of poem drafts, notes, hand-drawn maps, quotes, and a few “sketches.”

I have pulled out of it so far a chapbook that I am shopping around and a few poems that have already been published.

On some trips, I write a lot. On others, not so much.

This trip was mainly prose. Ideas that I may or may not share some day. A bit of verse.

All that matters though is that I write.


a farm
in Western Minnesota
not far
from South Dakota

early September

the nights cool
the days hot

this morning
the rooster crows
again and again

the cool morning air
pours through
the open windows

a little kitchen table
a cup of coffee
a pencil
this page

“Reverse Shadow Sketch” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)