Coleridge’s Notebooks

“Coleridge’s notebooks, of which seventy-two have survived, contain a huge assortment of memoranda set down by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1794 until shortly before his death in 1834.[1] Coleridge’s biographer Richard Holmes summarized the range of material covered as “travels, reading, dreams, nature studies, self-confession and self-analysis, philosophical theories, friendships, sexual fantasies, lecture notes, observations of his children, literary schemes, brewing recipes, opium addiction, horrors, puns, prayers.” [Wikipedia]

I didn’t know that. I studied his poems in college but I don’t remember his notebooks being mentioned. Of course, it’s been a long time.

Guess how many I see see around me right now. Ready? 25. Mostly finished or well used, some in progress. They’re 5 x 8 inch notebooks and pocket size, and a couple are larger. And that’s just 2017-2018. There’s a shelf in the closet with more, though from 1995 to 2017, I mostly used computers to take notes and write drafts. Now, everything starts with “Draft Zero,” something written by hand, before the first draft, if there ever is a first draft.

I wish I was as broad and comprehensive as Coleridge but gimme a break: that dude as world class, and I’m small town. Still, I cover events, reading, dreams, worries and fears, self-confession, self-analysis, philosophical compost, friendships, YouTube and podcast notes, literary hope, boredom, horror, glory and occasionally a prayer.

What about you? Do you journal, keep notebooks?

I kept a notebook, a surreptitious journal in which I jotted down phrases, technical data, miscellaneous information, names, dates, places, telephone numbers, thoughts, and a collection of other data I thought was necessary or might prove helpful.
– Frank Abagnale
Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.
– Joan Didion

 

 

An Ugly Word

I think the word ‘blog’ is an ugly word. I just don’t know why people can’t use the word ‘journal.’

Moby

Well, I like that. I’ve never cared for the word “blog,” either. It’s up there with “moist” and
“hangnail” on my list of words unworthy of creative expression on any level. But this website isn’t my journal.

I’ve kept an occasional journal of exceptional events for many years. At some point several years ago, I switched from a fountain pen to a  computer. I’ts just not fun, doesn’t draw me in. I prefer pen and paper now.  I write in it twice a day, since resuming in earnest last fall. Since Halloween I’ve filled a 240 page notebook and half of another. I write about gratitude, my sleep patterns, my sensations of well being (or unwell), about Being and Time and how hell is mostly other people. Present company excepted, of course.

I’m a big old introvert, so writing time also makes me feel recharged.

 We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and privacy: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.

— C.S. Lewis

In my journal, I’m trying to hold on to my life: to people I genuinely care about, to frustrations and celebrations and gifts and sorrows and everything that’s draining away. So it goes.

You?

~~~

Wow. I wrote that then told my Echo to play songs by Moby. This is the first one it played. I kid you not. A kindred thinker. 

 

 

Get Lost

Creators focus on outputs rather than the general populace who focus on inputs. In their free moments, creators utilize their subconscious breakthroughs. Their days are filled with creative bursts, making them incredible at their craft.

If you want to have more creative flow in your life, stop checking your social media and email so much. Check them once or twice per day. Detach from the addiction to numb your mind and escape reality. Instead, get lost in the creative projects you’ve always wanted to do.

~ Benjamin P. Hardy, The Mission, 2017