Monday, January 2, 2012

Blank Pages, New Year

I have been contemplating starting a commonplace book after reading about it on a homeschool blog called Sage Parnassus. The biggest obstacle was my perfectionism.

"[L]et us take down one of those old notebooks which we have all, at one time or another, had a passion for beginning. Most of the pages are blank, it is true; but at the beginning we shall find a certain number very beautifully covered with a strikingly legible hand-writing. Here we have written down the names of great writers in their order of merit; here we have copied out fine passages from the classics; here are lists of books to be read; and here, most interesting of all, lists of books that have actually been read, as the reader testifies with some youthful vanity by a dash of red ink." Virginia Woolf, “Hours in a Library,” Granite and Rainbow: Essays by Virginia Woolf (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1958), p. 25.

Nearly all of my journals and diaries are in this state, most of the pages are blank. I had thought that it was some sort of character defect on my part until I read Virginia Woolf's quote. Now, after reflecting on the utter insanity of perfectionistic thinking (yet again!) I believe I will dive in, and also give my kids journals of their own in which they can record ideas and thoughts.

Let's hear it for youthful vanity! Happy New Year!


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