Tabula rasa

I like to start on a new notebook on New Year’s Day. It’s symbolic both of a fresh start and a clean slate. Or scraped tablet as the phrase “tabula rasa” translates to, describing the process by which wax tablets of old were reused, blanked by scraping off the writing. I love that idea, like shedding yourself of preconceptions to imbibe something new.

I keep several notebooks for different uses: reading and research notes, project logs and ideas, article drafts, and musings.

BLANK SLATE. Opening the Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal to start taking notes on New Year’s Day.
BLANK SLATE. Opening the Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal to start taking notes on New Year’s Day.

I’ve long wanted to own this Atlas Obscura notebook. I’m a fan of the site and one of its founders – the writer Joshua Foer. In the course of writing his wonderful book Moonwalking with Einstein, he won the US Memory Championship.

But I could only find the Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal online and at considerable cost for a notebook. I’d rather splurge on locally crafted leather journals.

ON SALE. Bought these Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal from Book Sale branches in Cebu City.
ON SALE. Bought these Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal from Book Sale branches in Cebu City.

It turned out several journals were (take note of the tense, I bought everything I could get my hands on that day) available in Book Sale for a fraction of the original price. After a quick side trip from yearend engagements, I got my haul. Some I set aside to give away, others I reserved for my use.

Today I opened one, wrote my name and contact details on the first page and jotted down my first written notes of 2021.

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