Power of the Notebook
I have carried some sort of writing implement, and some kind of medium on my person ever since the Seventh Grade. It least since then, memory being spotty at best. Because of that same dappled recollection, I need to constantly write things down. Keeping notes of ideas, lists of things, a journal of events.
I have toted everything from 3X5 cards loose in shirt pocket and a pencil to a small bound journal with fountain pen. (One can always transfer to more permanent storage at the end of the day, journey, whatever.
It has not always been consistent, and ther are several holes in my records. However, one time, my habit saved me from a rather gratuitous butt-chewing from a supervisor who thought to inquest regarding something which had happened a month earlier. I consulted my log, and gave full details, including work order number, calibration specs, and results. He came in breathing fire, and left with a wimpy “Oh. OK then.”
Over the years, I can observe a refinement of sentiment spread across a dozed notebooks of different size and composition from “composition books”, to loose-leaf to bound journals (very cheap these days). In them I can trace the origin and progress of my thoughts for good or bad. In them, I can trace the outline of my life (save for the non-recorded spots). In them, I can see the rise and fall of fortune, of friendship, of faith.
This left behind will be, for my kids (if they don’t just chuck them in the furnace), a key to Dad. Parents often do not understand their children, I am told, but children more often do not comprehend their parents. In this age of the throwaway culture—throwaway artifacts, throwaway people, throwaway emotions and ideas and throwaway heritage – it is, for me, a means of fighting back against the ephemeral, the transitory, and the worthless.