Faith in Humanity

Hieu's signature
Science made me lose faith in humanity. – Hieu
Roommates on the page
Arts & Sciences

I find it interesting where people pick their page to sign since the other thing I tell people are the three rules:
1. There’s a Front Door — Rated PG13
2. There’s a Back Door — Not Rated (I flip the journal around and show them)
3. There’s no rules!

I usually add in that the Back Door is for private uncensored thoughts, but it’s open ended. People often ask where they should sign but I refer to rule #3 (which is an oxymoron).

People peruse the journal and find their spot. Some nestle in with a crowded page, others take a blank page and make it their own. I love how journal signers become roommates on a page too — like Jillian and Hieu. Jillian works in the Arts and Hieu works in Science. Hgygen is a PhD working in a focused specialty in Science. She had a horrible experience as a female scientist in academia. She is so passionate about Science and helping young women in Science. She also is writing a memoir of a sibling’s tragic death. She also gave me an awesome fine tip pen because I commented on how lovely her handwriting was. I still have the pen (even though I lose pens all the time).

Everyone has a story. The Original Journal wants to know them all.


 Begin! (but get coffee first)

This post comes to you from the eccentric town of Carrboro, which neighbors college town, Chapil Hill. 

I (creator/curator of The Original Journal Project) met Jay Reeves, owner of Vinyl Perk last Friday. Carrboro is a fun and charming town that is home to eccentrics, artists, college students, and a great music scene. 

Jay was super fun and an instant friend. I love what he wrote in The Original Journal (Save the Earth edition). So without further ado…here’s his signature. 


 I ducked behind my Chemex Coffeemaker, and the next thing I knew she was snapping my picture through the glass carafe and my image came out distorted and coffee-crazed but I liked it. And so having given you my coffee photo-face I will say to Megan and all the wonderful creators from Wilson to Walla Walla: Begin! The rest is easy.

Jay Reeves

Vinyl Perk 10/14/15 




Shoved in an airport cubicle
Artists, grand-mas, chefs, technicians
All sit and stare
off into the space between
Now and then
A moment lapses
Lulls within space

Chain smoking smirks
Smuggling secrets
left in suitcases large.


From The Chicago Journal

My Secret, Now Yours


Rachel from Raleigh

 For about 4 years I’ve been dealing with depression. No one knows because I hide it well with my personality. It’s an ongoing struggle but I know there has to be some kind of end. If not an end, a way to live with it but not let it overcome me.

My secret, now yours

— Rachel


This journal (The Greyhound Journal) was passed around a Greyhound bus going from Wyoming to San Bernardino, California. 29 hour trip.

Meet Cricket, one of the many Greyhound Journal OJ signers.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day from The Original Journal. Be safe. Call cab. Call a friend. Walk. My dad, a true Irishman, always said, “Amateur drinkers are out on St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve. It’s not a safe night out to be driving.”

From "The Greyhound Journal"
From “The Greyhound Journal”

Circles of Life


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.



Strolling along in

Amsterdam along

A canal lined street

2 young girls scream

In fun, “Halo” to fellow Sunday


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



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.

You’re an Original: the Original Journal Video

Link to Original Journal video (Animoto)

I created a video with images from The Original Journal.  Click on the link above.

How tall are your dreams? Dare to dream, dare to wish, dare to hope, dare to be…





be you…

I feel that the time is right for The Original Journal.

I really believe everyone has a story to tell – a journey to journal…

If you like the video, please take an extra minute to like The Original Journal on facebook (see the side panel on my website).

Journal Your Journey

The Original Journal

PS – Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.



Twenty Dollars and Taverns Tall

Directions to Greenwich Village
Directions to Greenwich Village

“To Greenwich Village

6 Train to Astor Place

Walk south to Houston St.

below Houston is SOHO”

– Edward Dougherty

NYC 98′

I believe New Yorkers are kind people. My mom is a New Yorker, born and raised. She always said, “You ask any New Yorker for directions and they will stop and give them to you.” I tested her statement when I was in New York for the first time in 1998.

New York City Sidewalk
New York City Sidewalk

My last stop on my three-day adventure had to be The Village.

I asked for directions in a camera store after visiting my mom’s childhood stomping grounds. It was a beautiful fall day. I went to her school, Dalton and where she grew up — Park Avenue and 89th.

Dalton School. It should be noted that this photo is from 1998 and was my first camera, which I borrowed from the friend I was staying with. I love film -- it makes you choose your photos carefully.
Dalton School. It should be noted that this photo is from 1998 and was my first camera, which I borrowed from the friend I was staying with. I love film — it makes you choose your photos carefully.

I stopped in to get film at a camera store near Lexington and 86th (at least that is what I the journal says). I think this camera store is a Best Buy now. Three very friendly and helpful New Yorkers gave me directions to the Village. This was pre-cell phone and Google map days. I don’t even think digital film was invented yet.

Ed even wrote the directions down for me in the NYC Journal; Ella, Eddie, and Ed wrote their own journal signings too.

Eddie, Ella, and Ed -- NYC Journal
Eddie, Ella, and Ed — NYC Journal

When I got off the 6 Train, I asked a man for directions to the White Horse Tavern.  He was on his way to pick up his daughter at day-care and kindly said he did not have time to sign the journal, but he gave me directions verbally. I had just walked up the subway stairs and it was literally just around the corner. He pointed and smiled.

I wanted to go to the White Horse Tavern because I was going to be discovered. I was wearing a scarlet begonia in my hair (I know — how cliché).

carriage ride wm

I didn’t take a carriage ride, as it was too expensive. I just hung out with the horses for awhile.

As I walked through the empty bar, I was disappointed not to see a room full of editors and writers. I did walk past an older man sitting by himself at a table near the window. My scarlet begonia fell to the floor. I was not aware it fell and went to the bar to order a beer. The older gentleman said, “Excuse me miss, your flower fell on the floor.”  I picked it up and asked the man if I could join him. I was not discovered, but I met a very interesting man who fought in the Korean War (Inchon) and was a Marine like my father.

He didn’t sign the journal, but he told me what to write. I wrote his name and 3rd BN H-Co. 1st Marines and his Marine ID number. When I shared with him that my father was in Inchon, he didn’t say much, he just acknowledged how brave my dad was for being there — for surviving.

Front Door Cover of NYC Journal
Front Door Cover of NYC Journal

In red pen on the same page, next to a faded taped on begonia is Vivamus Mea Lesbia Catullus — 3rd c. poet Roman. Bill and I shared a wonderful conversation about love, war, honor, and beauty. I will never forget the sparkle in his azure blue eyes; he was so alive. He told me, “Make sure you order the steak while you still have the teeth to chew it.”

Another NYC Journal signature

Another NYC Journal signature

I wrote a longer essay about my adventure in New York that October (which was my first time visiting New York). Long story short: I didn’t have enough money to take a cab back to the flat I was staying at. I had to go get my bags and my friend I was staying with arranged for a car to take me to the airport. I really didn’t want to leave the White Horse or New York for that matter. The bar was slowly filling up with energy and people were coming in after work. I thought of all the great writers, ideas and conversations the tavern had seen and heard. But it was time for me to go.

Bill and I sat at second table to the left. White Horse TavernPhoto Source:
Bill and I sat at second table to the left. 
Photo Source: Wikipedia White Horse  Tavern

I only had subway tokens and enough cash to buy another beer. I didn’t have time to take the subway; I needed to take a taxi. I was prepared to miss my plane on purpose. I went to the pay phone to call my friend, but he did not answer. I went back to the table and told Bill my predicament  He said I had responsibilities I needed to attend to and reminded me that NYC would still be here for plenty more visits. Bill gave me a twenty-dollar bill on one stipulation — I had to pay it forward one day.

I did, but that is another story.

I stepped out the tavern doors into the late afternoon light after saying goodbye to Bill. Gorgeous shadows cast themselves on the sidewalk — the very same sidewalk Dylan Thomas stumbled on. The same sidewalk Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson walked on.

The White Horse TavernSource: The New York Times© Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Time
The White Horse Tavern
Source: The New York Times
© Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Time

I left in a taxi filled with story and wonder.

New York Yellow Cab on Park Avenue
New York Yellow Cab on Park Avenue

After I got my bags at my friend’s brownstone, the car was there to take me to the airport — the driver in his black suit and hat, waiting on the sidewalk. The sun was setting on New York as the black shiny car entered the tunnel to go to Newark Airport. It was beautiful; purple, orange, and red streaks echoed in the New York skyline.

I will never forget that beautiful afternoon I ended up in Greenwich Village and I never will forget the kindness of that stranger.

Full Journal Page in NYC Journal. The three people in the photo are from a camera store in NYC I stopped in to get film. I asked for directions to the Village at this store. Ed was the person who wrote down the directions.
Full Journal Page in NYC Journal. The three people in the photo are from a camera store in NYC I stopped in to get film. I asked for directions to the Village at this store. Ed was the person who wrote down the directions.

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 Links to article on The White Horse Tavern: