I keep both a logbook and a “thinkbook”, calling them Past and Present & Future respectively, for clocking the day’s events and for thinking out loud to myself. Here, above, is my logbook, tagged using a hack posted by @brainpickings and sent to me yesterday by my friend @amyburvall, who knows I like all things paper. (Thanks ladies!)
Each coloured flash is keyed to an index of tags in the back of the logbook. The top row of red marks, for example, notes the times I’ve eaten out, whether that’s a coffee and muffin at an airport Starbucks or (a perfect) lunch at Jean Georges’ in New York.
I flip through my logbook often, getting know my days again, and I was delighted to see, really see, my year in a new way after applying the hack. The pattern of tags is curious to me and pretty. And I was really surprised to be able to see the break between past and future so clearly.
There on left are those days gone by, days well thumbed and messy, and, in fact, still expanding each time I turn back the pages. For old statues and ancient stone stairs, the patina of age is patina of subtraction–a little more is worn away with each passing hand or footfall. But for a journal, the patina of age is an accretion or a filling in of memory and meaning.
On the right, tomorrow’s empty pages pack tightly, as though some sort of temporal Venturi was working where the black ribbon of the bookmark divides then and next. Or maybe the past is compressing the future, like sound waves piling up ahead of a fast moving jet. Here, looking at the year along its edge, I don’t know if these future days are empty and waiting to be filled, or waiting to be revealed. Isn’t that delightful.