Several weeks ago I posted that I had given up photography...again. And I was mistaken...again. What I discovered by journaling (and I’ve been journaling extensively since my Thailand visit) is that writing captures one type of experience and photography another. That’s obvious, but I also realized that I feel that I’m missing out by not using both languages.
Buying the pocket journal in Thailand remains the pivotal event that allows me to write whenever inspiration strikes. Previously I had tried to set aside a specific time to journal and found myself staring at the blank page or screen, unable to think of anything interesting.
Ideas are fleeting and they must be captured immediately before the fly away. So I’m making significant changes. The first is that I’ve switched from the Midori Traveler’s notebook to a Bellroy Field Notes notebook. The Bellroy cover, though not as attractive, is stiffer, which makes it easier to write without a hard surface like a table and it uses magnets to remain closed instead of a band. Because it has no bands or ties, the Bellroy is more durable than the Midori.
The Bellroy also uses Field Notes notebooks, which I’m very fond of. Field Notes offers limited edition notebooks that are cool, and they have a compact storage system that makes storing completed notebooks easy. The Midori storage system uses a lot of shelf space.
Although my notebook needs are resolved, my camera needs remained a problem. I’ve had challenges getting photographic supplies, so I flew to Sai Gon and picked up a Fujifilm X-T2, which I absolutely love. Just as I write daily, I now also photograph daily.
All of these transitions have demanded changes to my website, and particularly this blog. This is my last post in this form, and this blog will be deleted before too long and replaced by a PDF publication that I’m calling Knapsack Notebook.
I borrowed the title Knapsack Notebook from Matsuo Bashō, the famous Japanese haiku writer. It’s his travel journal and brims of life lessons. In it, he explains that poetry to him was away of life, despite considering other occupations. He opens his journal by explaining his artistic philosophy.
“Achieving artistic excellence, each holds one attribute in common: each remains attuned to nature throughout the four seasons. Whatever is seen by such a heart and mind is a flower, whatever is dreamed is a moon. Only a barbarian mind could fail to see the flower; only an animal mind could fail to dream a moon. The first task for each artist is to overcome the barbarian or animal heart and mind, to become one with nature.”
Please don’t expect anything this profound from me. I’m not Bashō, and the quote above, by giving us insight into his passion and thought-process helps explain why he’s considered the finest writer of haiku.
My Knapsack Notebook will be a magazine of my travels and photographs. I’ve always been unhappy with the blog format because of its restrictions. The web has been around for a quarter-century, and at this point, creating and designing a blog post should be as easy as designing a PDF, but it isn’t.
Many of you used to receive my Mac newsletter which I published as a PDF, and I’ve decided to readopt that approach. To publish as a PDF is like publishing with the digital equivalent of silly putty while publishing as a blog is like writing while wrapped in a straight jacket. I don’t like straight jackets. The PDF will allow me to include more pictures, different types of writings, and it will let me create a more cogent and integrated overall experience.
When is the first Issue of Knapsack Notebook arriving? Early October, which marks the one-year anniversary of my travels. This issue will give me a chance to reflect on my experiences, the highs and the lows, the lessons learned, and to share photographs that I haven’t shared before.
While I hope to create exciting content, I recognize that a PDF is much different than blog, and that Knapsack Notebook may not appeal to everyone. If that’s the case, email subscribers can use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email to opt out of receiving any further notifications. But for those who stick around, I hope that you enjoy this next iteration.