Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Rich Internal Life

At the end of each school year, we're given an agenda. Everyone flocks down on them, eagerly placing them in their trusty agenda holders. Everyone loves them except for me. I don't use agendas. It's never come naturally to me to write down upcoming events. My mother and sister are supreme list makers. I've tried to do the same, but after a week or so, I fall out of the routine. I do write down random boring dates on a wall calendar to remind me when to go to the dentist, etc., but that's about it. The rest is committed to memory. I figure if I've survived this long without being a slave to an agenda, I'm doing alright.
What I do keep are dozens of notebooks that serve as scrapbooks that I use for bits and pieces of things I come across that strike my fancy. Occasionally work stuff makes it in. I find it comforting carrying around notebooks of treasures. The faux alligator skin notebook you see above is one of my favourites. When I was studying literature at university, a professor commented that Anne in Jane Austen's Persuasion had a "rich internal life." In other words, she had a vivid imagination. I'm like that. Here's a peep into one of my notebooks.
The inside cover has a pile of bird stickers. I'm mad about birds right now. I also traced a tree and cut out the "Ad free blog" owl and stuck it on a branch. Duncan made those marker pictures at Edwards Gardens one day when we got stuck in the botanical library when it was raining. There's also the cover of a Fever Ray CD.
"How to knit hand warmers." I never did make these. At least I've got the instructions.
Anne Sexton's "All My Pretty Ones," with a butterfly sticker.
A postcard of Varley's painting "Liberation." I've always loved this painting. The colours are so magical. Also, more images of the singer from Fever Ray as well as handwritten lyrics from their song "When I Grow Up."
Seamus Heaney poem with Fever Ray singer.
Heaney with a vintage mini postcard from Spain.
Baltimore oriole with the singer from Rockettothesky.
A quote from William Lyon Mackenzie - the firebrand first mayor of Toronto, who started a rebellion. We should be so lucky to have a mayor like him today. His house is a museum that you can visit. We went there recently.
Notes reminding me of bands I liked while listening to the CBC Signal podcast. Elfin Saddle anyone?
Here's some literacy planning for next year. I'll jazz it up somehow so that when I glance at it in a staff meeting, I'll feel a cozy sense of wonder.
A couple of pictures cut from a brochure after a recent visit to Hamilton's Dundurn Castle. You must go if you're ever in the Steel City.


  1. A rich internal life indeed! I like this so much better than the robotic daytimers. I'm like you, I only write down appointments, the rest is in my head. I feel less constricted this way, because you're not tied down to a list.

  2. I am a list maker because I can't remember anything! LOL! I also love to cross off things it makes me feel like I've accomplished something. I must say I love your notebooks! What a great way to keep all those bits and pieces of life we come across and don't want to lose. I have a folder full, I like the notebook idea better! Jotting down thoughts and ideas! Do you use a glue stick? I'm feeling inspired! hugs, Lindah

  3. Thanks for the sweet comments. Linda, I may soon be having senior moments and have to start writing down things so I don't forget - not that you're a senior. If you are, you're pretty funky.

    I just use a regular glue stick. I use a lot of crafty school supplies.
    All the best,


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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.