The oldest notebook comes third from top, with a patched suede cover. It was given to me by a friend from high school and college. You know, one of the nerds/geeks I used to hang out with. What’s not shown here, though, are the loose binder inserts where I wrote down new Filipino words, as a way of committing them to memory, during the time I was arduously shifting poetry writing from English to my mother tongue, or lingua franca.
The top and bottom notebooks I bought locally from bookstores. Both have not been filled yet to the brim with my poetry notes. The smaller one is useful whenever I cannot use my iPhone, ie during plane lift off, etc.
The fourth notebook from top bears plants and butterflies on its cover and was bought at an art market in Beijing. The second one is actually not a notebook but a pad with a leather case, which I bought in Bangkok. I love the leather and how it has to be tied shut.
There was a time, before I bought my first iPhone and laptop (I have disposed of them by now), that I really only wanted a Palm Pilot in my pocket so that I could have a dictionary I could refer to on the go, together with whatever book I had with me, which I kept in my bag and brought out whenever I was stuck in traffic in a family car or in public transport.
Even if technology has allowed me to synch my notes from my phone to my laptop, nothing quite replaces the pleasure of using pen on paper. I still keep the smallest notebook in my bag, just in case – not just for technical emergencies, but for times I want more physical evidence of what I’m doing.
This image is a reminder of how much work there is yet to do. More notebooks to fill. More distractions to avoid. And yes, this serves as a valid excuse not to post a cameo of yet another outfit, which during times like these I really do not want to be bothered with.