Candle & Bell

The  Ex-Wife gave me a book for my birthday. It's a fine, leather bound book, with thick, rough-hewn pages that were milled and pressed by hand. It's a beautiful thing, really, a joy of craftsmanship. And, it is blank. It's meant to be a journal, perhaps a scrap book or a codex for pencil sketches. I'm glad to have it.

But, I've no idea what to put in it, none whatsoever. 

I've kept a steady journal my entire adult life. It's grown to dozens of hand written volumes all neatly stashed on a shelf in my bedroom. It's been a good exercise, both for writing as a craft and living as an art form. Keeping my thoughts on paper has been good for me. I pen my missives in cheap, board-bound little diaries that I buy at Barnes & Noble for three dollars apiece. I'm much too prolific to do otherwise. 

This book, though, is special. I can't simply fill it with the mullings and chaff that overflow my other journals when they get sick of loitering between my ears. I've no skill in the visual arts; I can't draw. I could compose something especially for it, but I tend to go through so many drafts that I'll end up wanting to rewrite whatever I put in there a dozen more times.

It's such a lovely thing, such an artifact that I feel I need to do it justice with what I put into it, that I must counter the thought of its giving with the thoughts behind its use. Do I make a scrap book of it? No, she'd hate that. Perhaps I could take a stab at a more traditional diary? A store for pictures, a memoir of particular occasions, a collection of rubbings? I'm quite at the loss.