Buried in (paper) memories

Notes in a Moleskine notebook

Not my writing: image via Wikipedia

I’ve been trying to put this place back into some semblance of order. Clutter piles up if I don’t stay on top of it. Every flat surface will, piece by small piece, become overrun. The holiday things got packed up a few weeks ago, of course. The travel memorabilia from 2010’s adventures got filed shortly thereafter. The kitchen needed reorganizing to make room for new gadgetry. The filing gets filed, the dusting gets dusted. Books get shelved or boxed or given away…

What to do with all these notebooks?

Every day, it seems, I uncover another pocket-sized Moleskine notebook. I tend to buy them in 3-packs, each one roughly the size of my passport and perfectly compact for traveling. As I go through things, I find them buried in one stack of miscellany or another. With the exception of a few still-untouched, they are filled, to varying degrees, with scraps of memory that I would otherwise lose. (As my sister and I are waiting for our flight to Italy, a man on his cell phone informs his caller, “They’ve got me in scumbag class.”)  Stories scribbled hastily before the thoughts are gone, almost illegible even to me. Letters I never did, never would have sent. Ciphers I’ve written, hiding my thoughts even from myself. Notes of places I’ve been, places I should go, people I’ve met. Or the merely mundane: partial grocery lists, calorie counts, car service appointments.

I don’t know what to do with all of them. They sit here in a pile, snippets of my own past, and I have no idea what to make of them, what to do with them.

There are more. Blank books and journals of all kinds. Hard cover. Sometimes fabric, sometimes leather-bound. I love all the promise of a fresh pad of paper, a fresh journal. I try not to buy any more of them, but sometimes the urge overwhelms me.

I love them… but the moment I write in them, all that promise will have been limited.

Such a waste.

I’ve gathered the larger ones up, stacked neatly on a shelf, promising myself that one day I will decide to write in one of them.  The small ones I take with me… even if I fill them only with grocery lists, or use stray pages to dispose of gum, at least they have use. When a stray thought that seems worth saving comes, I will have a place to record it.

I just won’t know what to do with it later.


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

2 Responses to Buried in (paper) memories

  1. marvinallanwilliams says:

    I’m a keeper of Moleskin notebooks and carry one with me all of the time. I jot down ideas for stories, odd things I see during the day, and conversations I overhear that I think would make interesting dialog in a book. I also work on an occasional poem just to get it out of my head.

    They are a lot cheaper than a therapist.


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