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They’re a record of what we’ve done, what we’ve yet to do, what we’ve given up trying to do. They’re records of our work, our passions, our plans and daydreams, our wants and needs. They’re a record of our lives, and they’re written or drawn in our hand – which is intimate, individual and expressive of who we are.


We keep them by us, by our bed or chair. Or we stick them in our pocket or bag when we’re rushing out the door. We pull them out to consult lists and take pleasure in ticking off completed tasks. We do sums in them – adding up what we’ve spent, what we’re owed, what we need to save. We take them on holiday and sketch the landscape and architecture around us, the people sitting on the next table in a café, the room we’ve rented.


We scribble ideas for poems, stories, building projects, paintings, job applications, and the many things that inspire and excite us. We draw diagrams and maps, we doodle, when we’re full of ideas or bored in a meeting or on a train, daydreaming a life we haven’t lived yet.


Our books get covered in tea stains and finger prints and mud, or the nooks and crannies fill with sand from the beach. When it’s full, our book is stuffed with small details, perhaps one or two great thoughts, and lots of nonsense.


Often, we stick it in a drawer and forget it, until one day, perhaps years later, we come across it and open it up and all the things that seemed trivial or mundane evoke memories of trips and plans, jobs and celebrations, people and creatures, hopes,  worries that are long gone, and maybe one or two ideas whose time has finally come.


Or perhaps, even more years later, after we’re long gone, someone who loves us finds our book, filled with our hand writing, our sketches, our notes, and it will mean the world to them, and bring us back to them, vividly, in that moment.


The sacred is to be found in the domestic, our ordinary lives are precious, and, in the right context, our To Do lists are transcendent.


Each book is made with love, keep it with you and fill it up with your own ordinary, wonderful life.

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