The Close of Another Notebook

5 February 2018:

Time has come for the close of another notebook. This big green one I’ve slowly filled since September, slowly filled with five months of complaints and hope, with place and poetry, with money trouble and odd jobs, with new words (effulgentfrowzy, festinate), with work on my book, with work on this blog, with journals/magazines, with me, with Jess, with our little adventures, with our apartment, with new and new.

All the scribbles from five months of a life have—alas—come to a close.

Looking through its pages, each day has been different. I have grown, I know, in some ways, probably atrophied in others. That’s all part of it.

I could read through it all in thirty minutes, and what would I hope to gleam? Some sort of positive pattern, some sort of working-towards?

Despite my grumbling, I have discovered new writers, new books, new weather, new seasons. It’s been a fast five months in terms of this notebook, in terms of my life.

Transitioning between notebooks—letting one go, beginning a new one—is always a strange thing for me. I think it’s the accumulation of moments coming to a close. I am a creature of habit, you see, and my habits, my passions, my interests, fill each notebook I move through. Then, suddenly, that notebook is done, and I must push my pen across a fresh start, another first page.

That is not easy for me. It has never been easy.

I started this green notebook just before my 30th birthday. I wrestled with entering another decade, wrestled with what my twenties were for me. I wrestled with plans, career plans, money plans, the perennial issues, the steady trouble, my indirection.

Today, as fresh snow falls here in Bozeman, I realize I need a 2018 calendar.

On the wall above my desk, hanging by a thumbtack, is all of December, all of last year, still there—while I write this in the new year, February 2nd, looking (or always trying) ahead, but mostly back. Yes, mostly back.

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