Where do I trace the birth of this longing? I have not photographic memory as many do, nor do I remember the exact moment I said, “I want to be a writer”. And as I ponder this history of mine, the thunder growls and the winds roar. The skies darken this very moment and hover around this building; leaning its body against my windowsill and making my living room look like evening time. I like it like this really. To hear the thunder roar in the midst of the quiet and the skies darken. It has a calming effect on me. The appearance of lightening is a chance to see pure light, and the sound of horns is a reminder of great power. But I digress. Really I just think they must be excited, just as anxious to discover this mystery. A collection of horns and quarter notes gather from beyond the clouds and deep inside the galaxy, shouting melodiously. The floor beneath me pulsates and sends shivers up my spine. Meanwhile, raindrops tap dance against the roof. Perhaps the scream of heaven is prompting me to remember. I do remember the first time I had the material to organize my writing. I do remember my first journal. I do remember my first writing love.
I was just about to turn fifteen, and though by then I’ve been writing for some time, I had not the care of keeping things organized. I wrote at will and on whatever pieces of paper I could find. But the close of eighth grade presented me an opportunity to confide in that pretty pink booklet with the blue sparkling butterfly on the front. I purchased it in Cincinnati Ohio during our eighth grade school trip. I spotted it at Claire’s, a store at the mall, over in the corner and it was a unique version of many of the journals I had seen in Chicago or anywhere. Somehow I didn’t think I would find it anywhere else in the world. As my peers busied themselves in appropriate teenage endeavors, my pupils danced in delight. Immediately upon seeing it I had to take it home. And I must say it dressed up well for our first date. The pink was fluffy and soft; my fingers found comfort when they slept on top the cotton. The butterfly on top shone bright like the dye was squeezed from fresh blueberries, and to top it off there were little diamonds imbedded in its wings. It wasn’t a diary so there was no lock and key. Nor did I use it as such, but it holds some of my early poems. In fact, I pretty much just used it for poetry, and maybe a journal entry or two here and there. When it opened, the euphoria of opportunity greeted me with the smell of fresh ink, and elegantly curved lines. It wouldn’t be long after this that I would begin my collection of journals and notebooks, but none of them would compare to the first. Butterfly was that first real writing love. The rest were merely copies. And as you can see, I still have it, though it is obviously not as beautiful as it once was. I think I’ll give it to my daughter one day. Maybe. OK well, let me just flip through it first.