November 1, 2009

November Journaling Month: NoJoMo 2009

Archival boxes with mixed ephemera.

Himself: “I think better.”

Herself: Slowest progress I’ve ever had with a bug.

Reading: All those magazines waiting next to my living room chair.

Balance: Coughing less.

It was one of those days. An “Oh, I’ll write something tomorrow” days. It was a “no one will notice if I don’t write” sort of moment until I remembered it was the start of NoJoMo, November Journaling Month in Open Diary.

For the last couple of years I’ve taken part in NoJoMo. Since I write every day, why not…was my initial thinking. This year, slightly sick and creaky, I’m faded but still here.

I used to write and draw doggedly every morning. I’d spend hours with my hard bound journals illustrating each page, doing little doodles that caught the spirit of the moment, and, only later, including a photo or two. Of course, the quantity of them grew until all of them would no longer fit on the bottom shelves of the white bookcase or the bottom plus shelves of this huge old cupboard.

Only years after Chuck gave me a scanner in trade for one of my paintings did I start scanning these journals. As I scanned them, they went into storage. 1974 through the late 1990’s….heavy boxes, they went up into the attic. In many ways, it was a letting go.

“Since I don’t write things by hand anymore,” I thought, “why am I keeping my life, my memories in hard bound books?”

Working at the historical society taught me about archival boxes.

My life is now tidily boxed. Unceremoniously popped into boring grey boxes to be shelved in not neat rows and never looked at again. The old books were messy. Their spines broke. The cats sharpened their claws on the edges. They smelled. Mold won on occasion when we were living in the moldy house. Pages flew loose letting bits of life vanish on the winds. But they were viewed by everyone who passed through our houses. Visitors sat down and popped open a book just to see what was happening, what was new. These awkward heavy books were central for so many years.

Now my boxes are hidden in the dark behind the front door. Ephemera reformatted and unnoticed living only as memory. Perhaps I miss the mess and passion of that reality, but I don’t miss the weight.


  1. I am impressed with all of you who faithfully kept journals. I have a good friend who also did so. I wish now that I had been one of you. Perhaps I never wanted to look so closely at my life.

  2. Hello! Returning the blog visit, via "Studio Ruthe" as well. I see you live in Ocean Beach! I know it well, having grown up on Point Loma, where the family home remains. Small world.


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...