Friday, June 27, 2008

the fourth book

A gift today of the fourth book.

I have slowly been developing my work as a writer/artist. It has taken me a long time to find the tools that I most prefer to use. I have tried many different notebooks and most of them I have treated no better than a bound version of post-it notes. It might seem strange but I couldn't take myself seriously when I wrote in the wrong kind of notebook. But it wasn't just the notebook it was also the pen! After the longest time I finally realised that I hated using biros. It wasn't until I discovered Moleskin notebooks and returned to the primary school use of the pencil that I began to have some satisfaction with myself.

A year ago I began the practice of recording my dreams and to practice the Jungian method of analysis. What an interesting process this has been. Almost daily I've written, describing the most fascinating stories and from them have learned many valuable things. But aside from the journey to the Self it has taught me about writing. Out of necessity I have been very diligent about keeping my writing legible and have made great efforts to adopt a form of record keeping that is consistent so that I might collate reoccurring motifs and symbols. After many months I noticed that there where different styles one could use to record action. Some I noticed where more suited to the notation style use in the scripts of plays while others took to a more prose like form. Of course the fact that I had adopted the form of separating the parts of dreams into acts and scene also help immensely.

After a lucky start using the thin paperback Moleskins I finally graduated to the hard cover classic black books and I now use them exclusively. From the recording of dreams, in what I call the Book of Dreams, I began to take my writing seriously. I witnessed the value of recording my thoughts and it occurred to me that this method could be applied to my other areas of thought as well (seems obvious enough!). So I began a second Moleskin notebook series for the exclusive use for my theory work calling it the Book of Philosophy and this lead, naturally enough, to the creation of a third book series called the Book of Stories for creative writing. Now I knew I had one more book that I had yet to find - the Book of Pictures. I needed a visual diary, but which one was going to be right for me? I had a small Moleskin visual diary but for some reason I wasn't gelling with it yet. I needed to begin somewhere else, but where and on what? Now well aware of my fussy disposition when it came to notebooks I was perplexed!

Today, the answer to my question has been gifted to me by my good friend Margaret Barnett. When checking my post box in the village I found a little blue slip saying I had a package to mysterious...I hadn't been expecting anything. On returning home I sat down to open it. Inside was a beautifully wrapped present with a note that read, Found this in Cairns Gallery - thought you could use it - Love M, accompanied by a postcard of a large Japanese stone Buddha seen at twilight. Opening the present was to my surprise a visual dairy made from an old book that had previously been a primary school reader made by Aunty Art Studios called a Bound Again Book. It's the blue book on top of the pile. The original book's title was Eric or Little by Little by Frederic W. Farrar - how appropriate!

I have yet to use it of course.....but its synchronicity seems to indicate its suitability as the fourth book.


Queen of Light and Joy said...

what fun!!
I too have a "thing" with writing in ledgers that feel right. yesterday I bought one of those black and white school notebooks with the hard out side covers... but, I know I'll probably stick to my moleskin, the elastic closure and secret pocket at the back makes me feel like I am doing and saying something REALLY important. and as an artist, I like how that validation feels. :) along with how cheese tastes.

Anonymous said...

These bound again journals are also available at the State library gift shop, or perhaps GOMAs gift shop (somewhere there anyway!)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Book of Dreams is a fine and fitting title.

jude said...

i've started using single sheets of paper with plans to bind them later.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. You write beautifully and I'm in awe of your ability to organize your thoughts and dreams.
I am struggling to keep track of my thoughts and ideas. They seems to be bouncing around in my brain but I've come to accept that this is the way my brain works. I also use the softcover Moleskins and pencils to keep track and find the same forms and ideas recurring.
You have inspired me to improve my notebooks. Thank you Florence.

Florence Forrest said...

Such a lovely comment Helle! your thoughts are always greatly appreciated :)


Florence Forrest said...

oh and I didn't realise that I hadn't thanked Queen, Paula the Captain and Jude!!

the same thanks that went out to Helle I extend to you all :-D