The Thing About Notebooks

Is they’re ordinary
basic
inexpensive 
collectors of
dreams
disappointments
mileage
scribbles
doodles
facts and figures
A crayon mark 
or two
Sometimes they’re blank 
like a mind can feel
or like a sadness
or a fresh start, 
a new beginning 
with the possibility of an end
or eternity
Sometimes they're a continuation of ideas

The thing about notebooks
the containers of one's soul, 
potential, 
possibility,
is people dismiss them as mere notebooks
without appreciating the fact
that anyone who bothers with a blank page
may never be the same

The thing about notebooks
is the infinite variety in which they’re bound, 
that people want to read them
the ones that are filled fat with words, 
oozing with thought,
seeping with taped in mementos
receipts,
tickets,
love letters
to do lists
notes
a thumbprint
coffee stains
and the magnificence 
of what’s contained in the creator’s mind
somehow finds its way
into the world 
leaving an indelible mark
on those lucky enough to read them
Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Artist’s Date

SOLSC Day 18

I took myself on a date today. With ideal places still iffy, I took her to a local coffeehouse. She likes coffee. I invited her to bring her journal and she ordered a raspberry mocha. Indoor seating is closed, but the proprietor offered the patio. We accept, walk around to the back, and find a table. We have the place to ourselves. He delivers the raspberry mocha.

I open up to chapter five of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and peruse the exercises at the end. I pick up my pen and start answering the questions, reminding myself to dig deep and be honest. This is our second round with the book. The twelve weeks we started in October 2019 came and went. We worked on morning pages, three days of writing every morning for twelve weeks. It’s become a good habit. I’m still wondering what three pages means if we start with an 8.5 x 11 journal then switch to an A5. But three pages is three pages, sometimes more, sometimes less, but every morning. Mostly. And ideally before we pop into social media, work, email, busy-ness, but that’s tricky with work. Weekends and breaks are best, but we’ve stayed the course.

Besides the morning pages, Cameron also makes us go on an artist’s walk. Once a week, but more is okay. No one else is allowed. No spouse. No kids. No pets. Reeses hates it when we leave without him. No music filled earbuds. Those walks have become our lifeline. We have to listen. Pay close attention to our surroundings. Our inner voices.

The reason for this intervention is to unblock Creativity. I have great ideas. She’s not so good at following through. No time. Self-doubt. Stuck. Getting too old. Needing to tend to the kids first. Working on alone time with the hubster. Alone time with each kiddo. Family time. Cooking. De-cluttering. Work. Self-soothing with too much social media. Lots of self-sabotage.

We’ve made lists of possible dates: museums, an empty church, hiking, a relaxing bath, perusing bookstores, a massage, star gazing, tickets to a musical, day trips, lunch at a new to us restaurant, an art class, hand lettering, hanging out at a library. Artist’s dates are the hardest to schedule. Once a week. Every week. We’re working on that. We need variety, but we’ll take what we can get. It’s usually a walk, hike, short drive, a visit to a coffeehouse, or massage. Our last pre-pandemic artist’s date, just when we were making progress on this new routine, was to the Lone Star ‘Zine Fest.

Today we went to a new coffeehouse that opened about a week before the pandemic shutdowns began. I’m glad they’re still around. Artists’s date for the week is done. I’m glad we spent time together. We need it.