Call me cheap or thrifty or just plain utilitarian, but I use both sides of a sheet of paper. I’m not proud about that, probably got it from my mom who called it “being Scotch.” If anyone knows what that means, please let me know.
But this goes beyond your typical utilitarian paper-use. This morning I pulled out my steno pad – the one I had started from the front with ideas for some upcoming writing. On the first page are things like, “What if it’s not just a game?” and “What if spring never came?” I have always been a big what-iffer. Sometimes it can work for me.
But, true to form, I haven’t filled too many of the pages behind the starting ideas. Okay, I haven’t filled any. But today I am starting a new season training a team I have worked with for some time. I always sketch out a “game plan” even for a training session, and I need a notebook to do this in. A steno pad would be perfect. And there I have a perfectly good steno pad, hardly written in. I’m cheap so I don’t wanna start a new notebook. I’m prideful so I believe my ideas, however meager, are worth keeping. So, I turn the notebook over to the back cover. And begin again, from the back.
In the back cover I tape the team game schedule and the days of my sessions. Then I start scribbling in the theme for the day and the ideas I have. This is followed by terrible stick figure drawings, arrows, lists, dots and dashed, shapes and numbers. In short, it is my handiwork. It would mean nothing to anyone but me.
…just like the words on the front page. Then I flip it.Front, the writer-me: “What if it’s not just a game?”
and flip it again.Back, the trainer-me: “Making more of the game.”
I am looking at myself. Front and back pages written on. A whole lot of blank, but lined, pages in the middle. Anyone who looked at it would think it was a mistake. That someone accidentally wrote in someone else’s steno pad. But no, they are both me. In fact, they define me. Two sides of the same coin, they say. Two sides of the same notebook.
And I’ll keep writing them. From one end, keep imagining. From the other, keep making it so. And at God’s perfect pace, the two will meet somewhere in the middle. Perhaps a little toward the writer, but more likely a bit more toward the trainer. And on that day I will be two sides of the same page.
But that won’t be the end. Because then there will be the filling of all the back pages to the front or all the front pages toward the back. Or until something stops me, mid-pencil or mid-thought. Like my computer keyboard that shouts, stop writing on paper.
Notebook, you’ve made your point. It’s the two disparate parts of me that are me. Writing myself to the middle.