Circles of Life

Schrivjer

Schrijver

Schrijver means writer in Dutch.  This is a page from The Holland Journal.  Someone I had met in Holland (back in 2000) recently got in touch with me via email. An excerpt below from the recent email:

            One evening a friend (Cathelijne) and I decided to hang out in the Irish pub.                     Soon we started talking with this nice girl, Megan, carrying a notebook. She told             us that she was from the United States and was traveling through Europe and                 the Netherlands and for some reasons I do not remember anymore about why                 she visited Groningen that day. See was curious about our lives, the                               Netherlands and the city of Groningen.

            It is a weird thing that for reasons unknown and at times you least expect it you               meet people you never forget. It is that magical thing that makes some people                 and some events more special than others. I remember we liked the girl and                   decided to take her on tour in the night life of Groningen. It became a great                     night. We visited many bars, had many, many dances and had a lot, lot, lot of                 fun together. It was so to say legen, wait for it, dary (to quote Barney from the                 sitcom How I Met Your Mother).

           I remember that it was already early the next morning when I walked the girl                    back to her hotel. I remember me and her talking about her dream to write a                    book about her travels and about the poetry see sometimes wrote. Since she                  had to travel back further (I think even back to the States) the next day we                      decided to exchange e-mail addresses and keep in touch and maybe, who                      knows, meet again somewhere.

          Do you remember?

          Is it weird to reply to a 14 year old e-mail (and spam it to all other addresses I                 could find of you)? Yes, it definitely is but my curiosity wins it over the chance                 you do not like it or do not remember so here is my reply. I hope that you                         receive it, read it and maybe reply again and answer the questions. How are                   you, are you well and do you remember? …. I do…

We had kept in touch briefly by email in 2000 and life faded into life for both of us on separate continents.

I often thought of this person wondering what happened to him.  So interesting when life comes full circle. For me, 14 years later, he remembered the girl with the journal who asked people to sign it.  He could very well be the person who wrote “Schrijver” in the journal. I love this page of the journal. There is a coffee stained poem written on the back.

2-13-00

2-13-00

Walking

Strolling along in

Amsterdam along

A canal lined street

2 young girls scream

In fun, “Halo” to fellow Sunday

strollers.

Little Girl amusement sings

in their shirts

I ask to take their picture

and they say cheese with

innocent gaiety.

As I walk away on of the

girls says, “Touriste.”

I say “Watch it…no

touriste…artiste.”

               ***

There is a quiet hum

Now as I sit on green

Steps. My yellow backpack

Blends in so

And I share a moment

With grace.

Angels Enjoy

This journal came with me to Holland in 2000. Billie signed the journal in California though. She was a natural healer who did body work on me. She told me I had many protective women ancestors watching over me.

Somehow Billie’s journal signing got paired up with this picture — a beautiful combination I think. Although the tentative title to this journal is The Holland Journal, I have several titles on the cover that may be better titles for this journal/book.

From the Holland Journal circa 2000

From The Holland Journal circa 2000

Holland Journal FD cover

Some alternative titles could be Faithful Thesis Journal or Through the Eyes of a Windmill Journal.

Journal. Paper. Scissors.

Front Door NYC Journal

First page in the Front Door of the NYC Journal

First page in the Front Door of the NYC Journal

I created this journal at a teaching workshop in 1999. I met a good friend at the workshop, but got in trouble for blatantly not paying attention. I was more concerned about using the markers, glue stick, scissors, and sticky notes in the center of the table than paying attention to the workshop presenter (who did contact my principal and let her know I was off-task throughout the whole painstaking boring presentation).  I was young and just starting my career as a teacher.  It was 1999 and I was living in Southern California. I was also leaving for the Big Apple in a few days. I had never been to New York. And for the record, the workshop was so boring I would have fallen asleep had I not kept myself busy with the makers and glue-stick. But in respect of honesty, all I could think of was spending five days in October under a New York City skyscape.

I created the NYC Journal in L.A. and wrote the stories in New York.

I may have not paid attention during that literacy workshop, but I sure paid attention to New York. The New York Journal is one of my all-time favorite journals.  So many doors…so many stories…

Rainbow Prescription

The Man with the rainbow Suspenders

David, the Man with the Rainbow Suspenders

David, the Man with Rainbow Suspenders, signed the Original Journal at a writing conference. You don’t run into too many people who wear suspenders, let alone rainbow suspenders, so I asked him to sign the journal. I didn’t have the journal with me so in a pinch — like always — I used a napkin. This is a N.J.S (napkin journal signing).

Napkin Translation:

Guy with rainbow suspenders

David M. Harris

Actually, the suspenders (not these in particular, but the concept, the reason I wear suspenders instead of a belt are by prescription, in a manner of speaking. The doctor didn’t write me a script, and in fact I got these particular suspenders not in a drug store but in a hardware store, but he told me that there were two ways of solving, or at least dealing with the pinched nerve in my back. I could have surgery, which has certain risks, or I could stop wearing belts. Now that I live in Tennessee, it makes me look like a farmer or a redneck; in New York it made me look like a hippie. Cultural variation and all that. But it’s a chance to design my presentation, my performance, as it were. Most of my suspenders have buttons on them – patterns like pins, you know. But if you’re going to be a person, be your own person, I say.

Conquer It. Just Do It. Mistakes Only Make Your Stronger.

A page in the Original Journal

A page in the Original Journal. This journal is from the North Carolina Original Journal. And yes, that is an original autograph and signature of the one and only Anne Lamott. I went to her book signing and reading at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC.  

Here is some background info on this page in the Original Journal.

1. It is the current Original Journal (I am carrying this one around with me now in North Carolina).

2. Emery Smith was an administrator that I worked for (as a teacher). He is also a redhead.

3. Anne Lamott is one of my all time favorite authors.

4. Emins or Emily Ashley is a random person — have no idea who she is. She is obviously an Original Journal signer.  I love what she says and I also love that it is on the same page as Anne Lamott’s Original Journal signing.

5. That is red ink that bled onto my notebook at the top. I am not one to put caps back on pens and of course, the journal travels with me everywhere I go.

Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.

Journal Your Journey