There’s a new Moleskine note pad in my bag.
I’ve had it over a week as I eek out the last pages and spaces in my old one. It’s important to finish the old pad properly. It’s how you would honour such long standing trusted confidant.
My old Moleskine pad – one of a long line of black Moleskine pads – the ones with the squared paper. Always the ones with squared paper.
The elastic band is of course a little slack and despite the respectful, courteous affection I’ve intended for every ‘canvas’ … there are a couple of dog-eared pages that ripple the side. Dog-eared for reference and importance. Dog-eared from hasty, rash, abusive moments of disrespect when my beloved friend of a notepad was somewhat uncaringly, disrespectfully for convenience shoved into the bottom of a busy bag on a busy rushed departure, a dash for a train or plane.
I apologise now dear friend, dear squared notepad – and hope my soothing sometimes sweaty strokes to smooth the bent but not broken pages were as well received as they were intentioned.
So much of what was important at the time is now … just notes and words, jottings and unfathomable diagrams and distracted, albeit beautiful and intricate, doodles.
Great insightful notes from learned friends, great lectures, breakthrough conversations. Misheard titles and lyrics of music snatched on half-heard radios. Hastily scribbled approximate names and titles of albums now deciphered, decoded and downloaded and still waiting for just the right moment to be fully enjoyed and bathed in properly.
Jotted titles of great tomes – the best that’s been thought and said… and now unlikely ever to be read. So many book titles gleaned from colleagues, magazines, posters – books spied on trains in the hands of other readers, glimpsed books providing escape and warmth for others in cold, bland platform waiting rooms.
Names of scholars and thinkers and thought leaders even the names of one or two influencers.
Random data and statistics to fact-check later and possibly use convincingly and authoritatively in some future debate or persuasive PowerPoint slide.
Questions, questions, questions – lists of questions to prompt and stimulate coaching conversations with so many wonderful client coachees over the years.
Energetic, flowing, connected, scribbled, emphasised, arrowed, ‘Venned’ and often superseded diagrams of curriculum, impact, organisation, job flow, life balance, relationships and – Gantt life.
Lists of lists,
Lists classified and referenced by order of importance,
Lists in order of guilty panicky sudden remembrance.
Lists in diary date delivery order,
Urgent AND important lists
… and treasured old friend list entries that have stayed with me, through good and bad, busy and relaxed, urgent and planned, big and trivial, domestic and work, personal and private lists. These list items, like friends that have been with me on lists – man and boy, thick and thin, good times and bad times – loyal list items – always first on the list.
Yet some innocent list items, that despite their perseverance and loyalty to me and my ever-changing fickle lists – now get dumped, crossed out, regretfully, apologetically, not lightly. These head bowed, watery eyed, flushed and shuffling list-items well they just aren’t going to get done, life has moved on, they’ve been super-ceded. “It’s not you …it’s me, you’ve done nothing wrong dear list items – it’s me, I’ve moved on I’ve changed what I want from life and lists … can we still be friends?”
I wish them all well on someone else’s list.
I stroke the splintered shards of consciously, knowingly, brutishly, grotesquely torn and missing pages. And whilst feeling the pain of those innocent and loyal torn pages – I enjoy some small solace secure in the knowledge that these ripped and severed pages served others well. Serving now as maps and directions, homework tasks, names of authors, tunes, books and yet more diagrams that made perfect sense in the shared construction but may now be just incoherent scribbles; earnest in their creation, authentic at the time but now unfathomable… perhaps they always were?
Thanks know for sure that these abandoned severed pages forgive me – they are the trophies of service, badges of honour for the mighty Moleskine.
For this is not some shabby fragile skimpy, spirally bound or sparsely stapled pad.
A Mighty Moleskine, the mightiest of them all … the one with the squared paper and the pocket at the back… the Swiss Army, the SAS – the mighty Ninja Moleskine.
This Warrior Moleskine can take a torn-out page or two, here and there. It’s tough, resilient. Coming out time and time again in seminar, session, support – in service. The old agile inked sheets salute and nod knowingly and kindly as I flick further on through the densely populated surviving pages.
And so, the excitement, the potential, the crispness of a new pad beckons.
Promises and oaths, declarations and aspirations are made.
I solemnly swear upon the new book held firmly in my hand, my testament – to always write neatly, to always finish a list before commencing a new one, to never dog-ear, no tearing … no coffee mug stains and no nasty cheap green ink to spoil those beautiful crisp perfect pages of potential.
I implore and assert with profound conviction that only Great Ideas only, clear comprehensible notes that make sense both at the time and in the future will frequent this sparkling treasure chest pad.
‘In case of loss, please return to…’
and the cock crows thrice at this my hollow promise of neatest writing, no dog ears and completed lists
A new pad beckons.
A carry forward list is carefully, neatly scribed to illuminate page one
Tomorrow – possibility commences again.