Saturday, March 10, 2007


"That's quite the book!", said one of the students in my visual journaling class as I pulled my "everything" book out of my purse to jot down some notes. I guess it is. I've carried this book around for years. I love it because it has an elastic band that secures all the loose papers I've stuck inside it. It's become quite worn. The elastic has had to be re-attached (with staples) on the back, and there's almost no binding left on the spine. The glossy plastic covering came off long ago.
I call it my everything book because I put just about everything ephemeral into it. There are street addresses and email addresses, phone numbers and birthdays in it, but it is not an address book. I tape business cards on the pages, because they're easier to find that way instead of being all jammed into a wallet. I have jotted down insurance information while sitting at Kristen's bedside in the hospital. I have copied song lyrics and poems into it. There's info on the next book for book club, and suggestions for books that people have recommended.
And lists! A list of all of Oprah's books when her book club was in full swing (starred with the ones I have read). A list of the Dickens Village pieces I used to collect. A list (depressingly long) of things that need to be fixed around the house. Lists of perennials I've bought and what I spent on them (yikes). A list (way too long) of garden chores still to do. A list of my very favorite songs. A list of dishes I plan to sell on EBay, and the prices I hope to get for them.
What size was that lilacs picture I want to frame? 20x24, my everything book tells me. The type of printer/scanner I own? It's in the book. Fortune cookie fortunes anyone? "You are soon going to change your line of work." "Your flair for the creative has taken an important place in your life." Only the best fortunes make it into my book. Clever saying I see in bookstores and elsewhere: "She had not yet decided whether to use her power for good or evil." "Has anyone seen my hormones?" A hurried sketch of my family tree, from memory, as I waited for Dan to give me a ride. Class notes because I forgot to bring a notebook. Notes from an Internet site because I couldn't find any scratch paper.
I have used White-Out to delete information that is no longer relevant. I later discovered that correction tape works much better, so there's plenty of that in there too. Even though my everything book is shabby, there's still lots of blank pages left. If I'm dining alone, waiting in a doctor's office, or biding time in the car - I'm never at a loss for something to do because I have my everything book.

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