WRITING LIFE: Ode to My Notebook by Ellen Frank Bayer

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Dear Notebook,

You are the depository of my dreams.

Thank you for standing by me day after day,

no harsh comments, no back talk.

You take my words, and my artwork too.

Sometimes I make just a scribble.

Sometimes I draw a line and call it a day.

There is no comment, no judgment and no frowns, only a blank page with blue lines.

I consider you my friend.

You have stood by me through it all: my aspirations, my dreams,

even my joy, guilt and sorrow, my frustrations and my hopes.

I write to you when I’m lonely, when I can’t say the words aloud even to myself,

when no one seems to understand me, when I don’t understand myself.

I feel alone so many times. I am frustrated and sad, empty and unfulfilled.

I feel my life is passing me by like the hourglass in the Wizard of Oz.

I want my children to remember my memories.

I want my children to know the relatives who have left their stories with me.

I want my mind to keep on remembering.

I am so afraid that one day my mind will “take a walk,” like my Mom used to say.

Notebook, you are there for me.

You take it all in, you’re always waiting for me.

You keep everything.

No need to charge you with a plug.

No need to pay for storage,

or subscription fees that keep increasing.

Thank you, notebook.

You are a loyal friend.

You are steady, reliable and easy to use.

All I need to do is open you up, find a blank page and let my hands do the work.

No need to check how many people are using you.

No need to keep my credit card up to date.

No need to search for a remote.

I feel I ought to treat you better.

I am sorry for spilling water on you.

I am sorry I buried you in my car under my bathing suit, which I haven’t needed in six months.

I am sorry for piling you on top of the other junk in my closet, in a shoe box where no one can find you.

I will take you out.

We will have a reunion with all your brothers and sisters who came before you.

I will index the pages and make dates for you to get together with the other stories of my life.

I will share you with the important people in my life.

I will make my memories last.

I can only do that with you.

Thank you. I appreciate you.

Keep being here for me.

Don’t dissolve.

Don’t break your spine.

Don’t disintegrate into ashes.

Don’t become yellow and brittle.

Stay like you are,

white pages, blue lines.

Be present, don’t hide.

Stay on top of the pile where I can find you.

I will keep filling you up.

I will keep you in my heart.

Meet the Contributor
Ellen Frank Bayer is a public teen librarian and a recently retired school librarian. Her favorite notebook is a black and white marbled paperback composition notebook from Staples. She uses a different color each month. March’s notebook is red. Ellen also keeps a daily bullet journal for her to-do lists and doodles. Her favorite notebook for bullet-journaling is a hardcover by Wertioo. When Ellen is not among books you can find her composting, gardening, writing or baking (not at the same time). She writes about plants, baking and food. When she is not writing you can find her skating, walking or taking in the latest Broadway show.

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