Saturday, February 11, 2006

Blank books

This is I guess a fancy word for a notebook, a diary and a journal. A number of them can be a bit pricey, especially the notebooks they sell at Fullybooked. Some are so beautifully made that it seems to be a waste just to write on them.

But it still a notebook.

What is the use of a notebook if not used?


A blankbook or a notebook is probably one of my favorite type of books. It is the tabula rasa on which one jots down one's idea , a reminder, a note or a curse. For in some cases the notebook becomes the repository of our knowledge and intent. The proverbial hole in the ground where we can shout our inner thoughts. The scapegoat that becomes the recipitory of our sins. And in some cases the coliseum where we deal with our inner demons and enemies. Also a place to store notes.

There is a restaurant in China that serves an authentic and multiple course Imperial Feast. Wealthy patrons go to this restaurant to feast on dishes that were prepared for the Emperor of China and served only in Forbidden City. The proprietor of the said restaurant was a descendant of one of the minor court officials who was in charge of preparing the food. And this court official was taking down notes of what dishes were served, how they were cooked and what were the ingredients. Probably to ensure that the Emperor and his Court will always get the right and consistent meal they were used to.

Another blank book became the diary of a Jewish girl, who for a time hid with her family in an attic. They were hiding from the Nazis. Unfortunately, they were discovered, separated and sent to different concentration camps. The diary remained in the attic and after the war it was published. In its pages survived the thoughts and interactions of the people inside that attic from the point of view of the girl, Anne Frank.

Its useful to write things down in a notebook. The act itself purges us of ill-thoughts and records our opinion and musings. And in retrospect it allows us to judge more fairly our thoughts of the moment. Similar to a blog.

Except, a notebook, diary or journal allows us to be more candid, a great deal more candid.


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