On Keeping a Notebook

Strangely, sometimes I can find inspiration hidden in a grocery list.

On Art and Aesthetics

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion (1968, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

I have never been a regular diarist but I have always carried along one or two notebooks. They are messy and incoherent. Full of plans (most of which never materialise) and feelings (that turn out to be short-lived and unreasonable). The notebooks aren’t worth much but they are a source of inexplicable comfort and joy to me. If I were compelled, I’d be willing to part with many of my concrete possessions but never these.

Why do we keep notebooks? Why do we record our thoughts? Why do we love doing this? The American writer Joan Didion (born 1934) examined these questions in a essay titled “On Keeping a Notebook”, included in her collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968), a significant portrait of America – particularly California – in the 1960s. The collection derives its title from the…

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Author: Grandtrines

Like so many people, I am a paradox. I am a politically conservative vegetarian. I am from a Christian background, and still tend to like those values, but am a metaphysical astrologer trained in science who has an interest in the magic of ancient Egypt and a weird belief that some piece of our essence can live on a server. I live in Texas, but like chatting with my international Wordpress pals the best. I learn by teaching. Technically, I am a "Leo," but I am very, very Aquarian with a dose of Scorpio. I bitterly complain about Algol (and Algol personaliites), yet it is the one star that defines me most (other than Regulus). (Which, oddly, makes me an Algol personality.) I am a reclusive lover of peace and quiet who has the Ascendant in the Via Combusta (the most conflict ridden part of the zodiac). I am an incredibly private person with a blog with over 800 followers and 50 to 150 regular daily visitors. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

8 thoughts on “On Keeping a Notebook”

  1. Well! I think I got a bit lost during the end of the middle of that post – that Joan Didion! – but I do love keeping notebooks. I cannot stop writing, especially recently. I have gotten into the habit and now I can’t stop. I don’t know if it’s something which can be narrowed down the way Joan was saying. I find it’s just a need I have. Sometimes I do write what ever is happening right now, sometimes I write lists of things I need to remember. Sometimes I write stories, most of the time I write rambling paragraphs of complete jibberish which I cannot understand. There is something therapeutic about writing, so that even if you just write nonsense, it feels good. So maybe that is what Joan was saying, I’m not certain. That’s what I think 😀 Thank you for posting this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I jot down my ideas in a variety of places, stickie notes, paper, emails, drawings on paper, photographs of things that catches my eye (especially signs), it is all over the place. But, if you read my astrology blogs, you would know that I believe *strongly* in the capture of ideas. However, I do not limit myself to a particular medium.

        Liked by 1 person

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