Thursday, April 17, 2014

Write On

The gift I receive most for birthdays, holidays and random 'thinking of you' moments are journals. My friends and family members present me journals with elaborate covers, funny sayings and Buddist symbols etched on the front. Both of my aunts have sent me journals throughout the years, my favorites with a homemade woven binding and the other purchased from a quaint little shop in Italy. I have so many journals; too many, yet never enough. 

Most of my journals are completely full with wasteful words and hopeful stories in neon purple ink with no beginning and no end. Other journals hold insightful quotes both from spiritual gurus and my own children. I have so many journals that if you open any drawer in my house, including my car glove box, you are guaranteed to find my most vulnerable thoughts in written words crammed in with other random items that seem to have no home. And as every woman knows, the pulitzer prize winning thoughts come at the thirty second red lights and are gone by the time the light turns green. A girl needs to be ready to jot that shit down! If I don't have a journal in the car, I have been known to write thoughts on the back of store receipts, only to find them months later shoved between the passenger seat and the console stuck to melted fruit snacks and a goldfish cracker. I shake my head as I read the naively insightful red light thought now vaguely legible, once a story ladened with great promise now is being sucked down the vacuum hose.  

I never use journals for to do lists, those lists are left for sticky post it notes and paper with the perforated lines to tear out and trash easily upon completion or irate disregard for lists to begin with. My journals do not have pages that tear out. This is ultimately a good thing because despite my desire to tear out the utter crap I just wrote, I know by tearing out the pages I will weaken the journal's binding causing pages to easily fall out. This fear of an escapee page of my crazy ranting being found on the playground while I am watching my kids play hide and seek is too great to risk.  Also ripping out the pages does not allow me to read how much I have grown since I last wrote in this journal three years ago. Or conversely, I wish I would have ripped the pages out because I am still stuck in the same place I was three years ago with just a less extensive vocabulary.

The moral to this blabbering story is that I believe receiving a journal is possibly the most thoughtful, flattering gift.  It translates to me as someone valuing your writing and thoughts enough to invite you to record them. However, it can also translate as, "Hey, here is something to write your crazy down so I don't have to listen to it." I take either as a compliment, because often enough my crazy is also a slice of their crazy. After all, we are all part of the same pie. 

Mostly, I believe to be gifted journals because people who know me and love me, know I love to write and they want to encourage me to do what I love. This is a much more auspicious and heartening gift than a pack of Marlboros and a bottle of rum, although those said items may be more enticing after a long day with my kids. 

Love & Light,

My most recent journal I received on my birthday from a long time friend.

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