It’s kind of silly, this habit of mine. Writing journals for over thirty years. They don’t matter much to any one except me. To me, they are better than a photo album. When I read them, I am instantly transported back to a previous time and place.
One of the odd things I’ve done, without even realizing it, is to tuck little scraps of paper, or photographs, or notes, in the pages of my journals. I open them to find an incomplete scrapbook of sorts, such as this one from 22 years ago when I was in Italy:
There’s a ticket from the metro, a card from the Bed and Breakfast which has the chocolate torn off the right hand side; a post card signed by our waiter “Con Simpatico, Marco”.
In the mid eighties I used to glue things on the covers of my journals. These two were bought in London, and I pasted a card I found of paintbrushes on one, a drawing of my initials on the other.
Other times, I’d simply glue a photograph I took with my Canon Elf right over the top of a wirebound notebook from the drugstore.
I found these journals at Borders which are made of Italian leather with a place to insert a picture.
Then, I took a class in book making, and started making my own. But, the problem with journals becoming too beautiful is the feeling that you don’t want to ruin them by writing in them. I bought this Italian leather one from Barnes and Noble a few years ago, and I’ve never even opened it for fear of spoiling the unmarked pages:
Now I’m using French notebooks from Clairefontaine because they have the nicest paper for writing with fountain pens. The ink does not soak through the paper, or fade and blur like it does on the cheap paper we have here in the States.
These notebooks can be ordered through a wonderful company I found called Writer’s Bloc. They are only about $8.00 each, and so worth it if you like to write on the smoothest paper in the world. Or, if you prefer fountain pens like me.
This is my very favorite pen in the world. It’s a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck, which is so old that it has West Germany embossed on the gold band at the top. I bought it almost twenty years ago, and I never take it out of the house for fear of losing it.
So, thank you, Carl, for posting about journals and bringing to the forefront a private, and sometimes compulsive, form of print.
And, as Stormfilled said in the comment section of Carl’s post, “Must urge those of you who are reluctant to ‘ruin’ your journals with scribbles that you must do it! It’s what they’re designed for. They enjoy it and there are always more.” Phew! That’s a load off my tendency toward perfectionism soul!