17 August 2006

cahier.
yesterday morning, i sat on my bed listening to NPR, and opened my new moleskine notebook. legend has it that moleskine notebooks were used by artists and poets and writers all through the 20th century, carried in pockets of van gogh and hemingway and picasso, traveling around the globe as the avant-garde found inspiration for their imaginings. probably the manufacturer of this incarnation of the moleskine has simply tapped into a beautiful marketing scheme, but these artists did in fact use pocket-sized notebooks. repositories for flashes of insight and skeletons of future works of genius.

there's something magical about a blank notebook or journal. empty pages, waiting to be filled. even when all that's inscribed there is ordinary, mundane bits of information, they tell a story of a life. and, in amongst the mundanities, there are bits and pieces of wisdom and brilliance and passion. sometimes insights of my own. sometimes those of others far more gifted than i, culled from the world around me as i wander museums and bookstores and the mall. yes. the mall. it's amazing where inspiration appears unbidden.

just as i finished unwrapping my black, grid-lined notebook with a pocket at the back to hold treasures, my mama walked into my room holding something in her hand, saying "i think i'll send these to madelyn." when she got closer, i saw that she was holding three or four old notebooks of mine--relics of my childhood interest in hello kitty. but also the ancestors of my continuing love of a blank book, ready to be filled with thoughts and ideas.

3 comments:

  1. I have a fetish for tiny blank books. I keep my collection in a little box, which I selfishly hoard. I agree, the blank book is a magical thing. But potentially intimidating...some of my books are so attractive that I fear what goes in them must also be beautiful and the pressure is too much and then I get writer's block. But eventually, archive fever kicks in and I get over it and have to write. It's true, that much of it "is ordinary, mundane bits of information," but I hope sometimes that I'm finding the delightful or magical in it, as you often do on this very blog.

    I loved hearing about your hello kitty notebooks. :) The ancestors to my love are large 3-ring binder journals. Despite their cumbersome size, I wrote often.

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  2. Nice to see you writing again - even if it's not happy-happy joy-joy. (Well, a new notebook is a certain kind of joy, is it not?)

    Come to northern California sometime. It'll feed your soul. (And I'll feed the rest of you)

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  3. "I keep my collection in a little box, which I selfishly hoard. I agree, the blank book is a magical thing. But potentially intimidating...some of my books are so attractive that I fear what goes in them must also be beautiful and the pressure is too much and then I get writer's block."

    Brooke: I could have written these lines, word for word.

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