February 22, 2007
(above is a picture of a journal entry from Elijah Allen Scheidler, in his Epica journal. He started the journal addressed to his unknown future wife. His testimonial is about how his search for love, when documented in a journal, began to change his life and character for the better. Elijah’s penmanship is amazing.)
The Epic continues…I had a post earlier about Epica which I found through a fellow Flickr, Toni. I read a testimonial from Tracy. She bought an Epica journal for her husband’s journey to Iraq. It will be an important journal for him to document his experience for their children. It’s a touching tale and I conjure up images of Penelope sending her Odysseus off from the shores of Ithaca. I haven’t left these shores for a long time. Either did Emily Dickinson. Just because I’m not a regular traveller doesn’t mean that I don’t have thoughts to write about. Emily Dickinson stayed in her modest family house in Amherst and day dreamed upon the pages of her journal. She wrote over a thousand poems. Only a hand-full of her prodigious works were published posthumously. Upon her death, her family found 40 hand-bound volumes of more than 1700 of her poems. Why am I drawing allusions to ancient times? Perhaps I’ve been looking at Epica‘s journal and dreaming lately. I’m no poet or warrior, but I like to think that my notes are important to me. I’ve day dreamed too and scribbled on my modest and now faded journal. Sometimes, I regret not using a durable and precious journal to preserve my memories. Reading ‘Leaving a Trace‘, has encouraged me to upgrade my journal to a precious format.
Years and pages of writing that have fade away or not cherished in a journal like Epica is a pity. I remember an old girlfriend showing me a simple spiral and tattered notebook that she carries about with her for comfort. In it are writings from her mother when she was convalescing after an illness which eventually took her life. I remember thinking, if she had a better quality journal she could have preserved her words to her children. I like to use Douglas Johnston’s model to evaluate something that is expensive and justify a purchase. There’s a fine Ration of Value of money and the Ratio of use. (I think it’s similar to the mortage business Loan to Value Ratio.) Will such an item be used often? A journal will be used everyday and then saved and cherished for years to come. A beautiful journal will encourage more writing. Mr. Johnston also wrote about how to break the barrier of preciousness and begin the writing or drawing, and use of a precious journal. Look at Toni’s journals. They are filled with writing, cut and paste, maps, wine tasting adventures, grape juices and life. She’s always tauting how tough it is. Tony writes “I jam all kinds of things into these books and they can take a beating!“. That stuff adds life to a calcified page. How, over time, the book, the contents, personal dreams and writings, will elevate a book journal into more then something about price. The journal can become priceless. Divide the cost of such a journal into 365 days of the year. A $100 journal will cost .27 cent a day; less then a candy bar?!?!
I found this book of drawings about Emily Dickenson: pomegranate.stores.yahoo.net/a129.html