Monday, April 04, 2011

Moleskine Memories

Yesterday I was searching through my briefcase. I thought that my luncheon keynote as on sexuality but then when checking the email, I found that it was on 'self esteem'. Yikes. Just about ready to leave and I've got the wrong talk in my head. So, I'm searching for my 'self esteem' notes so I can construct a 90 minute keynote. Not something I like doing much on a Sunday morning. At first I thought the notes were lost, I hadn't realized that I'd put them in a new and different coloured folder.

However while rummaging through my notes I picked up one of my Moleskine notebooks. I love these books and find them perfect for documenting thoughts that I don't want lost. Sitting in airport terminals or as a passenger in a car, I've written several blogs longhand onto those pages. There is something about the Moleskine's that makes me want to consider the words before writing them down. As a result if you look through the missives there are very few strikeouts on the pages. Writing with a pen is very different than typing on a keyboard. Keyboard is easier, faster, pen is more difficult, slower. The criticism of a writer's book by a critic, 'this isn't writing, this is typing' comes to mind when, with pen in hand, I write in the journal.

I have written through many difficult times. Thoughts, poems and short meditations abound in my Moleskines. It was no surprise, then, that I would find something that I wrote, with no intention of publishing, during the time I was in the hospital, the day I became disabled and knew that my life was about to change. As I read the words the feelings that accompanied the writing of them flooded back into memory. I could feel the bed I laid in, I could see the wheelchair sitting beside the bed, I could hear the constant hummmm of the medical equipment that was attached to my body, monitoring my life in a green pulsing line. The story told here, written under the large capital letters, NOT FOR PUBLICATION ... instructions I was leaving for Joe as part of me thought that I would not leave the room alive.

I still do not want to publish what was written. I am no longer the man, now, that I was when I wrote the words. But the man, now, wants to honour the deep desire of the man, then. But then at the bottom of the page, in different pen, in a slightly different script - as if written on a different day in a different mood, were three words. I think that he, then, wouldn't mind these being presented, now. The words meant something then, they mean something different now. But I think that this may be the best advice I've ever given myself. I wish I'd given it to myself when very young. I hope I remember it when I'm very old. I hope this means something to you, because it does, deeply, to me.

Here's what I wrote to myself, disabled less than a day or two, laying in a hospital room wondering about the future:

Live what's given.

19 comments:

Cynthia F. said...

Love this mantra. Appropriate in SO many contexts. Thanks Dave.

Anonymous said...

Very Powerful.

-KR

Jan said...

Wonderful thoughts Dave. We all need to remember this when we are wishing for something else in our life.....More money, better looks, less weight, more weight. We are who we are and we need to live it.

Anonymous said...

Live what's given.

I like that!

Times of great stress have brought clairy for me way beyond what I would have thought was inside me!
Like when my son was born and through tears the home birth midwife told me she thought my son had DS and I reached over to her and told her there were no need for tears, our son had made it this time and he would have his day in the sun!
I guess in that moment I was choosin to 'Live what's given!
love Linda ( LinMac)

Louna said...

Powerful advice. Thanks for sharing.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Love this - words to live by. Isn't it amazing that when we are facing a difficult time in our life - we are given the grace to know what to do? And isn't it amazing that what is a trial also brings gifts?

Colleen

Leslie said...

Words to live by indeed. That's both profound and pragmatic - am going to hold those words in my heart. Thank you!

Belinda said...

I love those simple but profound words too. Within them I am reminded of a scripture verse that says we are given all that we need for life and godliness.

Maggie said...

I use a Moleskine to record dreams, usually first thing on waking. Sometimes the handwriting is difficult to decipher but there are very few strikeouts.

Often the most useful thing I find, reading later, is some brief instruction like 'Live what's given.'

Many of these have been explicitly useful at the time, some of them for long periods. Some have been humorous.

My personal favorites?

"Maggie, wake up!"

"Don't give away your shoes to a man who has no feet."

Thanks so much for this post. But you didn't tell us -- how did the speech go?

Maggie said...

I use a Moleskine to record dreams, usually first thing on waking. Sometimes the handwriting is difficult to decipher but there are very few strikeouts.

Often the most useful thing I find, reading later, is some brief instruction like 'Live what's given.'

Many of these have been explicitly useful at the time, some of them for long periods. Some have been humorous.

My personal favorites?

"Maggie, wake up!"

"Don't give away your shoes to a man who has no feet."

Thanks so much for this post. But you didn't tell us -- how did the speech go?

Anonymous said...

Since that day you wrote those words, Dave, you have given so much to your readers, staff persons, clients, and assorted members of the community.

"live what's given" - something to be mindful of every day. Carpe diem.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dave. You have no idea of how much your sharing means to your readers. Like Ruby's Song, "Live what's given" has already found a place in my mind and heart.

Sue

Ceeej said...

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

So true are those words....
I am dealing with a multitude of emotions tonight as I heard of another death of a long ago friend;
Live what's given.
That is certainly true for the two gone to soon.
I know that the meaning is different for me but the words resonate so loudly.
Thank you for giving words that I needed to hear tonight, as selfish as it may be.
M

Brooke, Phoenix, Cessna, Aspen & Canyon said...

such wonderful advice! I will try and do that from here on :)

Kasie said...

Really says it all!

Diane said...

"Live what's Given" is such a powerful statement of acceptance. It's as if your intuitive self was guiding your entry that fateful day.I have been journaling for many years now and have went back and found priceless gems of inspiration when rereading my journals. Journaling is creative therapy!

Ted C. said...

"Live What's Given"
Thank you for sharing this Dave! We all need to remember those words for the good, the bad and the ugly things that happen in our lives. Randy Pausch was a professor in the U.S. who died from complications of pancreatic cancer. His speech "The Last Lecture" expands on those three words and shows us how simple or complicated life can be. We make the choice.

Melissa said...

I love this sentiment and I try to accomplish this in my life. Some days, of course, are more succesful than others...

When we found out Claire had Down syndrome I thought we would deal with it, get by. Now we embrace, celebrate and advocate!