I have always written things down.

My earliest memories of writing took place in a lavender heart-shaped diary with a tiny brass lock, the keys to which I kept in my jewelry box on my dresser. It was made of a smooth plastic with a sort of soft cushion in the front, signaling that my diary was my heart, both fragile and in need of protection from the outside world. The pages were pastel pink and lined in red and I would write in them at the end of the day, detailing what I did (played on the deck with Allison and my new Barbie swimming pool) and how I felt (happy). Each page was dated in the top left corner like my teachers taught me; dates were important because I needed to remember when, exactly, this happened. Sometimes I would write in it throughout the day, noting the time of each entry. 

I was eight years old and the act of writing the day's events and my movement through them was imperative to my survival. It still is.

Why write it down, if living it was enough?
Wasn't I satisfied with having the luxury of another day?

It was never about satisfaction with my time lived.
It was never about losing it or forgetting it happened.

It was and is always about seeing it written down and writing it with my own hands. 

To keep a notebook is to maintain a practice: the practice of mindful existence and movement in the world, recording and remembering. I etch my thoughts and days and selves into tightly bound pages. I keep notebooks to keep watch and keep record. I am my own keeper.
I willfully divide my selves into the living and the lived, one who walks and loves and one who waits in the pages of notebooks to be remembered and beloved or remembered and forgiven.

I don't write my self and my life as I wished I was--I write as I am. I take stock, stopping time and holding it in the palm of an outstretched hand to see the day as it truly was. My life isn't made notable and valuable by the number of miraculous, remarkable occurrences I stack up over the years: My life is already remarkable. It is already extraordinary. 

I write and I keep my self.
I am mine.



Kelly CutchinComment