Rebel Without a Notebook

In dismay, I realized that I’d left my jacket 260 miles away in the closet of my friends Nathan and Danika’s house in Tucson. That would be a minor inconvenience in snowy Flagstaff, but I had another coat, so I would survive. Then, I remembered what was in my inside pocket and began to panic.

I’d left my old Moleskine notebook in southern Arizona.

A notebook is a writer’s most important possession. It’s like an external hard drive for the brain; a place to store clippings of conversations and drippings of ideas. Characters, plot points and philosophical ponderings all live within it. Inspiration is flash frozen on its pages. It is irreplaceable.

For a year, I was almost never without it. It traveled with me to the mountains of Guatemala and the rains of New Orleans. It’s filled with my observations; filled with me. In many ways, my notebook is a part of me; a man made extension of my abilities, like a pair of glasses to help me see the world more clearly.

I had only misplaced it once before. It slipped out of my pocket at a restaurant and it only took me about 15 minutes to realize it was missing before I dragged my date back to search for it. The wait staff had left it with the hostess for me.

This time, I’m happy to say that its safe with trusted friends. But until I have it back, I feel like I’m missing a year’s worth of memories and experiences. The notes I left behind for myself, like bread crumbs through the forest, are too distant to reach and I won’t feel completely comfortable until it is back in my hands.

As I scribble notes in my new notebook, I often wonder if I’ve had the same thought before, written it down in the old Moleskine and forgotten. As I sit in anticipation of an envelope containing my second brain, I can only wonder — and write it down just in case.

— 30 —

Do you have a slightly obsessive, dependent relationship with your notebook, journal, computer or phone? Tell me all about it in the comments or find me on Twitter: @jonnyeberle. Thanks for reading!

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