I own an inordinately large number of notebooks. While some people have cupboards full of shoes and others have toy trains or souvenir dolls, I have notebooks. Most of them are covered in scribbles, drawings, poems, lists, stories, addresses, names, books to read, places to go and things to see. They are something of great beauty to me and I never throw one away.
When I pick one up it is my very own time machine transporting me back to the time when it was The One. Battered and bruised, carried with me everywhere, slung in the bottom of beat up totes and hauled out in cafés and on trains, at the park watching my kids or over dinner with friends. The pink sequined number I wrote in French in the year I was studying psychology. Or the little muji Kraft books I had when the children were small and space and time a luxury. A Little Book of Sunshine, a gift from a friend that is growing, crammed full of words that refuse to be silenced. They are all special and I keep them all. Even the cheapo supermarket panic buy, grabbed when I forgot to pack one or ran out of space. Even the ones I used for morning pages when I tried that idea out.
The other day I pulled out one of my current 'friends'- yes I have more than one notebook on the go these days. It was totally blank and a friend asked me if I always write on blank pages. Yes oh yes oh yes when I can. I love the scratch of the pen across the unwritten empty page. I love to fill that space. I love the way suddenly something appears out of nothing and sometimes, not always, but sometimes, that something is good, worth reading again, worth keeping.
Oh and when there are no more blank pages? Then I write all over every inch of everything, filling the pages until they are black, scribbling on the curling corners of paper napkins and till receipts, even metro tickets and playing cards.
Here's a photo of my current favourite, from muji - they really do have great notebooks. And in case you're wondering, yes I do give my kids a lot of notebooks too. They have these ones and the larger model for painting in - the paper is nice and thick. There are zap books for doodling in the car and homemade concoctions with weird and wonderful paper for creating in and of course many many beautiful notebooks that just grabbed my fancy. And yes, we keep them all. They are a record of our lives lived on the blank pages of our days.