Monday, March 28, 2005

The re-discovered first pages of a journal

I am writing this from the nth floor of a hotel in the Sydney CBD. I am writing it on a laptop, balanced on the bench in front of the mirror, next to the hotel brochures & about a metre or so from where our bags lie, one open, one closed.

I am writing the record of a journey, 2000 kilometres by road but shorter by air, hours instead of days. I should have written it on the plane, during the trip, words reflecting the clouds placed below, at arbitrary intervals, like dots in a sand painting. I should have written it as I went; but notebooks for me, when I use them, are things that you scrawl in, fray, return to cross things out, doodle in, scrawl all over.

But I am scared of this one with its pure white pages. Maybe I should have left it in the sun before using it, to cure, to temper, so the pages become yellow & I would have no qualms about soiling them with words or scrawls or squiggly bits. This notebook has the unfortunate quality of having quality. & so you approach it as you would a tombstone, something to be worked on after the act, when you've got all your shit together. Put it down somewhere else, the plasma screen, click & drag, copy & paste, until it's ready to roll. Print it out, go over it again, revise. & then enter it in the journal, into this notebook.

Or maybe I am lying, have taken the plunge & am writing directly into the book, ten thousand metres above a point on a line between two inland beacons, the true journey, move in from the coast, move back out towards it. & instead of working in retrospect I am working towards some point in the not too distant future when I shall sit down at a laptop on the nth floor of a hotel in the Sydney CBD & work my way through these notes. Perhaps revise, perhaps just transcribe. Or maybe I won't sit down with it at all, but abandon it for a while, somewhere in the sun, to yellow, so I can face its pages at a later time, without fear.
11.35 a.m. E.S.S.T.

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