Dagdha's Blog

Notebooks

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on February 7, 2013

If you’re looking for Ryan Gosling or Rachel McAdams, this is not that sort of post. Although I was once compared to Mr. Gosling, not even my puffed up ego will admit to being that good looking.

Today I want to discuss notebooks, and not the kind from school specifically labeled for each subject or decorated with glitter and unicorns and photo strips framed with gaudy Japanese cartoons. We’re talking proper notebooks with the chaos on the inside instead of vomited across the cover. The kind filled from cover to cover with spontaneous ideas, striking quotes, unknown vocabulary words, grocery lists, and scribbled thoughts written with the intent of returning later but ultimately forgotten. The content makes little sense to the author and less to everyone else.

If this sounds too much like a couple of my previous posts, then you’ll have to forgive me. In my mind, although related, this subject is completely different. I was trained as a Classicist, so I’m used to obsessing over minute nuances and beating dead subjects until they come alive again, even if it’s just a hallucination created by brain to give the logic centers some reprieve.

For me the habit of carrying a notebook began in college as a makeshift planner. I carried around a small Moleskine that I used to record homework assignments and to-do lists. There was no organization though. I simply turned to the nearest clean page and scribbled down what I needed to remember. With age, I started writing down more because I forgot more.

The reasons I keep a notebook:

To remember. It’s like a map for my brain – I don’t necessarily need all the details, it just helps me recall the relative/related/necessary information. It may not be an objective map, which is why it won’t work for others, but it works for me.

To organize and control my thoughts –  I write shit down to assert who I am – my thoughts and emotions – as truthfully as possible at any given time. Unafraid that they’ll be read by anyone without my permission, at least while I’m around to care.

To pass on – too many people squander their lives with little to show, physically speaking. A loyal career in accounting can earn someone friends, reputation, money to buy a house, food, and support a family, but when all is said and done, all that’s left is a reputation that will slowly change and fade away.

I don’t know if I will ever have kids. Even more uncertain is whether I’ll have anything of monetary value to leave them long after my corpse has released its final death fart and and there’s a maggot orgy partying in my thorax. But I’ll have my notebooks, hopefully filled with nuggets of insight littered among the cryptic chaos that hint at what I thought and how I felt at a particular point in time. What I was reading, what I learned, and how those things changed me. What I forgot and had to relearn (like a never ending list of vocab).

I try to give as much of myself as possible to those in need. I try to censor myself so I don’t offend or alienate people, using the good manners my mother beat into me with soap and Tabasco sauce. Notebooks allow me the pleasure of an uncensored refuge where I am free to be as passionate or neurotic as I wish, while still remaining a tool for personal growth and insight.

 

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