I was in India when my dear Mother died, I rushed back via various flights to join with my brothers and friends.
It was (still is) all a blur, so many details missed up through it all, though as is my custom, I assembled oddities in a scrapbook and made annotations along the way.
As such, evidence, including: a boarding pass for the worst flight ever; a list of tasks to complete rapidly to leave Joy guesthouse in Auroville by taxi to Chennai airport; and a poem which I can’t at this moment remember who wrote/gave to me. Was it you?
In my #daveo50 “personal archaeology“ project, there are over 160 posts pre-scheduled (before baby), however there are at least another 100 in draft form and then still shelves and boxes filled with treasures…
Ergo: The other day I popped out to holy barn studio for the first time since the baby came home and randomly picked up this notebook and it’s pure gold… a log diary from a road trip with my grandpa through UT, AZ, NM, Mexico etc / with no agenda, no school, many motels, every national & state park & monument, endless diners (incl his flirting with waitresses). i’m posting it here as an “placeholder“ reminder to myself that this project can continue on all year and beyond beyond… so much evidence, so many oddities, such documentation.
I also remember that Douglas Coupland exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery included a display of his notebooks telling me that “the work is the art“ and in this case, this humble $.35 spiral-bound notebook with a mix of my scribbles and my grandpa’s delicious cursive is “the #art” the rest is ancillary.
“So it is written, so it is done”
PS: This note posted elsewhere regarding this “discovery” of personal archeology:
…My heart stopped so many times while opening up all these archives… I’ve moved so many times and been through so much uncertainty and so much turmoil and chaos in my life that the fact these things survived is truly miraculous and each shred of paper and scribble of handwriting is cherished. My grandpa was a colossal character, a real “big Fish“ type… I’m still not to his country count on my travels or to his level of charm so to see his handwriting and remember that trip is really quite splendid.
Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.
One of my favourite all-time musicians / song writers is Bill Janovitz (best known for his work in power-pop-post-punk trio Buffalo Tom) also does various solo, soundtrack, books and covers releases. He’s also a real estate agent specializing mid-century modern in Boston area). He’s done weekly “happy hour” live shows during the “situation” starting with making a cocktail then heading down to basement studio to play a set with banter (top notch meanderings) with Buffalo Tom songs, various solos, covers and whatnot. Sometimes joined by daughter Lucy.
The shows are archived on his BillJanovitz.com website (along with plenty other treats). Also meant to tell you he namechecks his neighbour and frequent collaborator – the remarkable Tanya Donnelly who i adore.
Anyhow, Buffalo Tom was never as big as peers (bah!) but seemed like secret stash (and the faves of a certain type of smart sensitive type :)), judging by the barrage of enthusiastic comments and praise, i’m hardly the only one. Given time zones and replay ability, happened to watch while making scrapbooks. This is all. A pleasant moment.
Catching up on some scrap books: A few fresh ones, ￼a few bonus items some old ones,￼ breaking the seal on a few others, organizing odds and ends￼ for future use (and the biographers).
Annotations on individual books if curious. ￼ Note: need more bookshelves, the overhead shots don’t really show the girth.
* Tsuchida Life 2020, part 1 *
Ephemera from “regular life” / normal out and abouts to museums, events, cafés etc., mostly from this year (earlier).
Btw the kanji characters on the left are pronounced “Tsuchida” which mean dirt/soil field/paddy – this is the name of our neighbourhood.
* Baby Book *
Just starting on this one for the new human with various ultrasounds, lists, notes, name ideas, announcements and eventually, maybe some of your cards and letters.
* Nagasaki Usual Days *
This one is well, it’s pretty awesome… from our trip in February (which seems like 1 million years ago) to a remarkable city to visit cousins, ride trains, see some sites, and eat all the food. As such: Tidbits from museums, cafés etc. included, plus various snapshots and notes. Just about done…, But I always say that ;)
This scrapjournal is an “accordion-style” book (think that’s what you’d call it… though doesn’t create the dulcet tones of the musical instrument) anyhow the paper unfolds in one long swath in vaguely Japanese-style.
Appropriately, the book is laden with sketches sketched in Japan whilst traveling by ship and stopping in a various ports of call from Hokkaido to Kyushu. First in pencil, then pen, then coloured with watercolours (sometimes pencils), and decorated with ephemeral bits.
What follows are a few sample hastily-snapped pages for archival amusement as not all are photographed and, as life goes, i no longer have this book, alas. If this situation changes, i’ll diligently update.
Most go as gifts to travelers and adventurers to fill up with ephemera and musing but this one stayed with me.
Feature a cover made from vintage aerogramme, lettraset (rub-on left over 1970s) monogramming, a wax seal, cancelled postage stamps, inky stamps, printed Lomo sardine can camera 35 mm snaps and various printed oddities – in this case, a bi-plane of significance which slips my mind.
Made with vaguely-Japanese-style-craft-binding, sewn with hearty thread via 3 holes drilled through a mighty block of various paper stock acquired at random intervals around Bali.
I make scrapbooks and journals for all sorts of reasons, sometimes for my own creations and writing, sometimes for specific project and in this case, for inspiration or dareisay therapy.
Background: I was having hard go of it in life or whatever and moved into a very small room at a boarding-house-type place. While basic, i quite loved having a place which kept me safe and allowed me rest. Reminded me a sign i saw in Vancouver for the “Wonder Hotel – Rooms for Rent – Clean, Quiet, Free Cable, Fridge, Secure” – all the attributes this Ankangan Guesthouse possessed.
Postcards and scrapbooks, scrapjournals and greeting cards… i dig these papery things. However, sometimes received postcards end up in a shoebox which seems sorta sad. So, Ryoko and i built a scrapbook to hold postcards and cards.
The scrapbook is my usual style – side bound Japanese binding, sewn up with sturdy twine through 3 holes. The covers and binding are Sri Lankan paper made from elephant dung (yup!).
Inside the pages are a bit of variety but all feature some sorta envelope comfortably hold the postcard or greeting card – meta in a way. Then decorated with a variety of postal stamps, inky stamps, luggage tags, stickers, oddities, ephemera, bits of paper (mostly admittedly from the “b-pile” and other oddities from the scrapbook bin.
There are a still a few empty pages / slots to fill with postal dispatches to come in the future.
This features treats from Bermuda, Seattle, Vancouver, France, and many other places… Thanks to all who send the treats. Want to mail me items? Get the coordinates.
Oh this album was built on Nusa Ceningan, Indonesia where it lives in a teak cabinet.
Often times, I make scrap journals for no particular reason, just for enjoyment of gathering interesting paper tidbits and ephemera which I enjoy… or in some cases, specific slices of inspiration which intrigue me for specific projects, remixes, or just recount times of life – what i was receiving or thinking about or even watching/reading/listening.
Sometimes a “theme” or story of some kind emerges – more like a thread of interconnectedness, whether content, medium, colour, aesthetic or tactility.
Presented here-in are two books which contain items which inspire or amuse me, connected by size, form, colour, theme or otherwise.
The first (named “Kindling & Matches, Tinder & Sparks”) is an accordion style book (a preferred format for these types) filled with beloved postcard &/or postcard-sized items. A few decorations on the cover (1970s era lettraset rub-off lettering, dried flower and my name clipped from a hospital envelope), inky stamps for easy identification.
The second (named “Dark Arts for Lighter Hearts”) has more variety of size and shape and contains a set for photos sent to me by a young artist named Simon among other objects d’art. Decorations include hotel luggage tag, insta-photo of a painting (self re-mix), snippet of poetry from a Lebanese wizard, and my name from a forgotten red-ink typewriter.
Explaining the obvious: I fill notebooks/journals of poetry, notes and musings (as well as scrapjournals which contain paper ephemera) and then transcribe (which no editing), then stash them into old-timey suitcase, which usually live in a storage locker faraway from where i physically exist.
I snap lil snaps of the cover before hibernation to remind myself of these lil tomes which remind me so much of where i was when the words were scribbled.
To prevent the snaps from vanishing into a folder (digital shoebox as it were), compilations ensue, placed into this archive for my reference, and for you to peek at if you have a notion.
Some of these have been shared previously somewhere maybe but who’s to say. Carry on.