Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Moleskines Story: Uno, the First One


My name's Uno, Vitti's first moleskine notebook. Before I came in to her life, Vitti had no idea what moleskine notebooks are in the first place. Nothing. Not that they are writers' notebooks, or that they have a sense of history. Good that somewhere her past caught up with her as she reconnected with MaryAnne Moll, her once student in Economics and now an accomplished writer in her own right.


Vitti did not have the presence of mind to get MaryAnne's autograph so to mark the event, her first ever writing on my pages was to acknowledge the gift, moi. I through MaryAnne changed her life, you know.


This girl is an adept tarot reader (although she shuns reading at the moment --- ask her why) and still committed then, and she so valued me, that she pledged, in case I get lost, my 'founder' a lifetime service of tarot reading. I may never know how good she is in making promises, but Vitti sure has excellent handwriting.


It was also not too late in knowing that in almost all notebooks she had, this prayer is found in the first page. The Serenity Prayer. Her way to find a middle ground I guess between her dreams and her realities.


I am filled with her notes on the urban poor. That's how I'm special to her. She started writing practice but can't commit on everyday hand writing so elevated me to a more formal, academic use. Vitti likes color coding her notes --- would you believe, she notes on her notes! Strange girl yes?


One time she had this ambush interview over the phone. Actually, she didn't expect the one on the other line to talk as glibly and as openly like face to face. So she had to scribble this over whatever paper was available. It's my honor to hold this here, securely.


Other than her, the only two people allowed space in my pages are two beautiful girls, Yaman, her daughter and Ira, her niece. Those are Yaman's scribbles at 2 years and on the side, is an affirmation card drawn at the crossroads of her career in 2008. Below is Yaman's first colored drawing.



Ira may have forgotten how much, but Tata (as Ira calls Vitti) loves her so much. Ira doesn't know that Tata kept all her scribbles as early as 3 and keeps them safe in her drawers back home in Naga.

My journey hasn't ended. I have yet to witness Vitti's progress to what? Researching and writing her truths, perhaps. Or just facing the demands of a day. Being her confidante, her secret-keeper, her lone friend in the night. Do you know that Vitti likes to hand-write in the dark? Lying on the bed and just me and her and a lone desk light on the background. Often, she kneels as if to pray, but no, she doesn't pray. She writes. I am blessed and privileged to be with her, to be not just a part, but to have blazed the trail for my other fellow moleskines to follow.

No comments: