For some reason I keep seeing ads for the Remarkable tablet. While that appeals to my inner consumer geek, the price is equivalent to about twenty premium leather bound notebooks and a lifetime supply of pens. From the palm pilot on there has be great promises of inner peace and the zen of organization. All that remains of these digital solutions are the gaps between the many notebooks on my shelf and the lost periods of creativity and therapy.
Since my teens I have depended on sketchbooks/notebooks of some form or another to sound out ideas or organize thoughts and things. My mind is the quintessential shyte-storm of nonsense, fact, fiction, insight, paranoia, 80s advertising lyrics and jokes that can no longer be told out loud. Write it down and you’ll never have to remember it again, if you know what I mean?
Old notebooks are windows into what was going on outside: the smell on the bus, the people walking past the cafe, arguments with a former spouse… Meeting notes and banal task lists become markers for what was actually going on in that period of life. Doodles and sketches hold the conversations and thoughts that swarmed around as they were done. What was important comes to light and what seemed important fades away.