I have not been very diligent with this space. I have forsaken it many times over the last 10 years and while it has often served multiple functions, it remains the home to which I keep returning. Who can argue the simplicity of essentially publishing your own words on your own tiny internet island for all to see. While there is something special in that, the words don't begin here. Most exist in anonymity for they are planted in another place. A place that connects me to a long line of storytellers.
A while back I did a podcast discussing my preferred method of memorykeeping: The Notebook. I was surprised how often it was described as a trend or something new when in fact, it pre-dates many of our scrapbooking proclivities like splatters or layers. My grandfather, perhaps the most dominant figure in my life, until his passing in my early thirties...kept a notebook. He had a strange name for it, which I promptly forgot until last night when I was re introduced to it.
The Zibaldone...otherwise known as...
"A strange melange of diary, ledger, doodle pad, and scrapbook, these volumes—along with similar "hodgepodges" and "commonplace books"—served as a pattern for interior life from the 14th century onward, bringing comfort and inspiration to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Carroll."
I thought it was interesting that the article refers to it as an ancient form of Tumblr. I never saw my Tumblr the way I see my notebook, but perhaps that was me and my somewhat older self and general dislike of Tumblr. I do understand the relationships between collections we create online and the ones I continue to curate in my books. One is very public...the other minimally so.
I think that some scrapbookers see the notebook....specifically the "Traveler's Notebook," as an interloper. Something that distracts from the very important task of normal everyday scrapbooking. It is simultaneously embraced by some for its simplicity and smallness and despised by others for its unprotected pages and tiny photos. Lest you think we memorykeepers are a fickle bunch...we just know what we like. We share a devotion to telling our stories in a way that completes something in us. Whether we do so in a notebook or a photobook matters little.
Personally, while keeping a notebook is not at all new for me, scrapbooking in one is. While I was busy using them as an art journal, a sketch pad, a rudimentary planner and a diary...I never actually added pretty paper or washi tape or stickers. I am happy to have evolved as a Zibaldoner. Do I think this has changed my scrapbooking forever? Yes, I do. I love that my notebooks are about everything. I love that they are unfettered. I love that they are portable and smallish. Mostly I love the link I feel with my grandfather when I write in it.
I feel like notebooks have given us common ground. It is the place where writers, art journalers, travelers, memorykeepers and planners all come together. It is the place where we can ultimately be any of those things by simply being ourselves.