On one of my nightstands, there sits a dark purple notebook. It's not just any notebook; it's leather handcrafted with a double image on the front and back. Held one way, you see an image of an owl. If you flip it upside down, it is the image of a woman. Pretty dope. I purchased it from a vendor at the Baltimore Book festival a couple years back. Its pages are made from recycled material and it closes with one of those latches that make things look rich.
I don't write in this notebook every day. It's not a journal. It's a space for me to just write notes. Meaningful quotes and phrases I've seen and heard in random places. Many people probably won't take to note booking like how I have. They are people that see the world through bright clear eyes, they've come into existence with a known acceptance. They are comfortable speaking about the "I." Their goals for starting businesses, their love of money, their pursuit of success, that time they held a fish fry in rural South Carolina. Then there are people like me who are constantly on a quest for reflection and absorb even the most trivial information. The lady sitting across from me at the airport had thick artificial eyelashes and a hair weave down her back. I was waiting to board my flight back to Baltimore from Miami. This is useless information for common knowledge, but I remember it and have made note of it in my notebook. Not an account of only the lady, but the need for some women to hide behind a veil of plastic.
Some of my notes are dated. But most are not. When I come back to it years later, I'll ask myself (2015, 2016?) It doesn't matter, though. My desire to make the note does. I will add notes on self-respect. What is that anyway? We have seemed to lost awareness of such a thing in the thickness of everyone's prowess and the face of things. Joan Didion says so eloquently in her collection of essays Slouching Towards Bethlehem that self-respect concerns a separate peace, a private reconciliation. Now that is something worthy of note booking.
I will tattoo my notebook's pages with thoughts on morality and the feeling of going home. Not the house located in Baltimore county, adjacent to interstate I-95. The feeling that arises when I've been away from family more than a few days or the couch pillows which smell of a combination of home cooked aromas. Home. Everything that is where my family is. I will revel in home, and think to myself, could I ever give my own child this home? Instead, I can promise to tell them a cool story.