No, no no..... I'm not confessing to a 20 year old murder, revealing something very personal about changing my life, or quitting my job.
The clean slate is a new journal. I picked this one up because it had a sexy cover. A high heeled shoe and a shopping in New York theme. It has a nice side flap with a magnetic closure. Oh, and the pages are deliciously blank and just waiting for my thoughts, reflections, musings, rantings, wit, and scribbles. And a journal is not like this blog. Here, I test my ability to write for an audience. Here, I'm a wannabe columnist hoping that someday an editor or publisher will stumble across my public missives, find them to be relevant, poignant and amusing, and offer me a job at the Toronto Star, or Maclean's Magazine. (Heck, I'd even consider the Sun).
But the journal, now that's private. My deepest, (sometimes darkest) most intimate thoughts. Something that almost no one ever gets to read. I can write things in a journal that I could never say aloud. And that is empowering, and maybe a little scary if my writings were to found after I had left this world.
Much is made of the new electronic gadgets which can hold dozens of books in memory. It is like carrying around a small computer with an entire library. I guess that's practical for people who travel or have limited space to keep a library. But there's just something about a book. When it is bound beautifully it is, to me more appealing than a piece of jewellery. The smell, the texture of the pages, the hard cover - something to be cherished and represents the hard work, intellect, eloquence of some very articulate people. It also represents freedom. The freedom to be creative, to say anything, to express one's opinion for the world to consider.
And even more beautiful are the blank pages of a new journal. I've held this new one, opened and closed the flap and flipped through the pages. It is a solid little book and I just love it.
Now I stare at page one. What do I feel like writing about? At this moment I do not know for certain. Even thought its content may never face the scrutiny of an audience, it is a monumental decision, and will set the tone for months of scribbling and musing. And it is kind of like this blog in that there is no schedule for when I will write, or what the topic might be. Sometimes I will be in the middle of something and a completely unrelated thought will beckon me to the keyboard and I will just start typing spontaneously. Actually, this is the way it happens most of the time. And sometimes, there are dry spells - times when there is nothing inside me to pour out on to a piece of paper, or to make my fingers dance across a computer keyboard. Those can be frustrating times because creativity, and the gift of expressing myself with the written word is just part of who I am.
My new journal - I will hold it and caress it for days, flip thought its pages, and then, all at once, I will open it to page one and begin writing spontaneously. I can't wait for that moment. Until then I will carry it with me everywhere I go so that I am ready.
I love the clean slate of a new journal.