sunday shorts #1: journaling
I wrote the last page of my journal today. It took me about 4 months to finish this one, and a very lonely new year’s.
I had first started journaling when I learned how to write. My parents had gifted me a leather bound notebook the first week I managed to write down the alphabet. I never stopped after that. A stack of fresh notebooks were hidden away in my cupboard, ready to be written into the moment the current one ran out. I wrote everything down, from favourite poems to songs, from short stories to the angst of growing up. When I finish a notebook it’s bittersweet; I’m happy to have written so much, but sad to retire a dear friend and travel companion.
The notebook I used up was an A5 WOUF notebook, made in Spain, gotten from Paris last summer. I had missed traveling in the middle of the school year, so I thought writing in a journal with great memories would help. Paris can get quite hot in the summer, but last year we were lucky and some of Europe had a cooler summer than usual. We went to a lot of museums, pen shops and book stores. My favourite part was getting lost on the streets. Just spending entire days wandering around, sitting on that bench or finding a nice street to stroll down and it leads to another and then another. With only a book, a pen and a notebook in my bag. I have good practice on being a “flaneur” due to years of strolling empty minded in the streets of Istanbul, but Paris is different. In there, it is an art in itself. It’s not a state of mind, it’s a state of existence. Walter Benjamin described the flaneur as a philosopher and a chronicler in regards with Baudelaire’s writing. Me? I am just a casual observer, haven’t graduated to the philosopher level -an urban archeologist if I may use the words of my literature teacher. For me, the most important equipment of any trek through the city is my journal. Writing breaks on benches, sitting on grass, in tiny cafes, sitting on the sidewalk.
For this notebook though, retirement was a well-deserved break. I kept it in a plastic Midori A5 notebook cover in a Galen Leather notebook cover to keep the notebook from falling apart before it’s last page is written -which admittedly only happened twice. Even though I tried to protect it from the elements of life, the spine is deeply cracked and the glue binding is giving up on life. The paper wasn’t great with fountain pens as it feathered with very wet nibs, but at least it didn’t bleed through so I was able to use the back of the pages. My favourite parts were the subtle colours of the notebook, the terracotta lines and the green spotty inside covers. Seeing the horses running around on the cover every time I open this notebook made both me and my inner 10 year old very happy. I rode horses for close to a decade, and she would’ve been very happy to see that I haven’t forgotten about it.
So, today marks the retirement of another journal, and the birth of a new one. Today, a notebook becomes a journal. Here’s to writing many more pages.
Thank you for reading! I've decided to begin a series of shorter sunday posts when I'm feeling like it. I doubt it'll be very consistent, but I'd like to write an extra post every now and then.