Do you really know what you’re thinking about right at this very moment?
Are you comprehending the meaning of these words or is your eye reading while your brain silently revels in your deepest, darkest secret?
For about a month now, I’ve been experimenting with “in the moment” note-taking, as a way to find unexpected ideas for freelance articles, and instead I’ve become a bit concerned about what goes on in my brain when I’m not looking.
The initial seed for this project sprouted about a year ago when I was feeling a bit down on myself and I needed to focus on the good things about my life, down to the minutiae of every day living. So I started toting around a tiny, colorful notebook (designed by–there’s no other word to use here so I’m sorry if it makes you roll your eyes–the delightful Jill Bliss) and simply made lists every day. There were no headings, no explanations, no drawings, just lists of things I saw or did or tasted or heard during the day that made me happy: a great song, a strawberry smeared with Nutella, the “smell of snow”, when the clock says 5:30.
After making those lists for a few weeks, not only was I happier and more aware of what was around me, but I came up with some great ideas and images and metaphors to use in my writing.
So this time, I decided to just open a notebook (another tiny one by Jill Bliss) and write anything and everything that caught my attention during the day. Today I started paging back through the notebook, thinking I’d try to piece it together to discover one truth I could write about in this blog.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: I’m a bit off-kilter.
I should probably be disturbed by the rush of factoids and reminders and quotes and thoughts that have popped into my head during the last few weeks–and their lack of obvious connection–but I’m definitely not surprised.
What’s hidden in the pages?
Recipes for tomato meatball soup. Ideas of things I want to try to record on my mini red SONY voice recorder. A reminder of how great Madonna’s “Deeper and Deeper” is. The ingredients list of the Badger Headache Soother. The discovery of Hershey Chocolate Drops.
Notes on the symbolism of strawberries, in case that’s what I decide to get for a tattoo.
Nine Inch Nails lyrics: “After all I’ve tried, you’re still inside.”
A sketch of a front-view of my MINI with the top down (reminding me that I can’t draw and should stick to words).
The triumph of getting $46 worth of groceries for $13. Pages of notes on the secret project I’m developing with Heather. A list of wardrobe items–crisp white shirt, oxfords, grey trousers–I want or need for spring. A reminder that peanut butter and banana on wheat bread is a fantastic breakfast. A list of recently downloaded books. The playlist that @Isadora_Blaque tweeted a few nights ago because it was so excellent that I need to recreate it on my iPod.
Freshly whipped cream. Pratima Love Oil. Maraschino Cherries.
The E*Trade baby commercial with Enzo the tailor.
“Lizard Lick Towing” and “Jerseylicious.” A “Murder She Wrote” marathon.
A quote from Liz Taylor: “Big girls need big diamonds.”
Black olives and fresh tomatoes on pizza. Sweet chili sauce on Chicken McNuggets. Aristophanes.
Right. So here’s the deal: I still have no great truth to write about for this blog post but I think I may have a better idea of why I have trouble sleeping at night.
What would I find in your notebook?