Saturday, February 13, 2010

Notebooking

If you step into our living room when company isn't around, you'll see a coffee table covered with barely legible notes, old hotel stick 'ems and pads, and ruled cahiers. We couldn't function without hard records of what needs to be done, was done, and is, in an ideal world, something we'd like to be done. Sometimes we step it up a bit from the usual throwaway paper, as we are now in our hunt to locate hard-to-find refills for our Marie Papier hammered metallic notebook that got quickly used last summer. But we always keep a moleskine at hand, indoors or out, for when the moment arises to jot something down. This photo represents just a fraction of John Hughes' many notebooks found among his effects after his death last Fall. His sketches of daily life from the mundane to the professional to jottings as observed by his writer's observing eye remind us how the written word brings back the romance and intimacy of a tangible documentation of one's life, complete with the grime and smudge from the environment, fingertips, the weather, lead and ink. Notebooks do what digital diaries can't by unintentionally recording the peripherals of one's existence and allowing outside eyes to be a fly on its pages. Hughes was only a few blocks away, taking a ritualistic early morning walk near his NY hotel while visiting with his family, in the last moments leading up to his death. What his relentless sketching of life as recorded in his Smythson Panama notebook and camera has told his family in almost up-to-the-moment detail is exactly what he saw and reflected upon in those last moments.

vanity fair, march 2010 (photo by dan winters)
vintage composition book
field notes
our personal moleskine and muji cahiers
vintage moleskine
smythson panama notebook
herm├Ęs ulysses leather notebook


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