It started with a gift. A Midori Traveler’s Notebook from my friend JJ. It comes in parts that, when spread out, look like this.
I’m an instructions person; I read owner’s manuals back to front: for computers or stereo parts or our new bluetooth speaker, even for things I know how to operate, like vacuum cleaners, oscillating fans, and hairdryers. For better or worse, if there are rules, I’ll try to follow them. But the Midori Traveler’s Notebook didn’t come with instructions. What’s more, it’s a notebook. How much did I really need to know? Thank gods for Youtube.
There are a lot of websites and videos out there about the Midori. It took a bit of searching before I found my new online best friend, Brian Goulet from the Goulet Pen Company and Ink Nouveau. I love listening to this man talk. First I watched this video, and when I had more questions, I found this one. Both videos helped me transform all the pretty pieces into a beautiful work of art.
When I sat down with the notebook I wrote, Getting it down right. That’s the phrase that came to me. I knew I hadn’t made it up, but neither could I recall why I knew it or where it came from. I sat and thought about it for a while and, when that failed, I Googled it. And there it was. The collection of correspondence between Frank O’Connor and William Maxwell, edited by Michael Steinman, is called The Happiness of Getting it Down Right. What a great title, and what a fun reminder that it’s sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. And what a moment of serendipity, too, of equilibrium and alignment – because that book was also a gift from JJ.