Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Notes On This Notebook Odyssey

I always have liked the idea of a notebook
as an extension of the past into the present,
as a record of a reality that is lost
as a mechanism another person can use
to recover some little piece of everything gone.

I’ve never been able to make that idea real.

I always have one notebook with me, and often two,
and around the house I have maybe half a dozen.

But I always end up using notebooks for sketching—
I mean literally sketching, drawing quick pictures,
or writing first drafts or plotting out a video—
but then I use good paper for a “correct” drawing
or word processing to type up a careful version
or this or that non-linear media software
to put together a working video or song.

And once I have that version, the more “thoughtful” version,
it kind of bugs me to see the rough scribbles and notes
and I get a lot of satisfaction from ripping
those pages of rough scribbles and notes from my notebooks
and tearing them to pieces and throwing them away.

I have folders full of the final versions of things
but my notebooks just keep getting thinner and thinner.

I’m afraid this procedure violates some basic
notebook principle and somewhere the gods of notebooks
are unhappy with me and say bad things about me
when they talk shop about humans with the other gods.

But I get stuff done and I can’t bring myself to change
work habits that in their own little way get stuff done.

I have folders full of the final versions of things.

But I’m afraid, now, I’ll never be able to get
help from the gods on my trip home from—so to speak—Troy.

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