I completed a notebook of Morning Pages this morning. I talk about the Pages here in the Blog every once in a while. They’re important to and for me. Somehow, and stuff happens, I came upon a feeling to do some math. Here goes.
First, these facts: I began writing the Pages in early June of 2011. I have never missed a day. I have used, from the first notebook through this morning, wide-ruled notebooks with 70 sheets of lined paper. I write three pages every day, and the final day’s writing always ends on the inside back cover. So, 70 pages both sides plus the inside back cover is 141 pages. Those pages divided by the three I write each day is 47. It takes me 47 days to begin and complete a notebook of my Pages. Bear with me here, as June 2011 until an hour ago is nearly 12 years. Twelves years times 365 days (leaping too goofy) is 4,380 days. As I began early in June I’ll subtract 30 days to get there this year. For you human calculator-type-folks out there, you probably already know all of it means I’ve written first page to last in 92.5531914894 Morning Pages notebooks. I do not have anything like the math savvy to understand why it isn’t an even number since I completed one an hour and 15 minutes ago. And I don’t care.
I’m hoping all this arithmetic is good for lighting up a few brain cells I rarely use. Keeping the 13-year-old’s brain in me alive. I guess it’s pretty cool – and I’ll have no problem at all with other takes, like dumb and silly and stupid – that I’ve completed 92+ notebooks of these (for me) sacred Morning Pages. I kept the first 25 or so, then recycled them in Portland – where this invitation got its start – and most of the rest since between Oregon and California. Which, the actual act of pen on paper, also includes Washington and Massachusetts and Florida and Virginia and Idaho and on planes flying one way or the other over who knows where. There are a few from this last year, and maybe stragglers from years back, kicking around, some sense that I’ll come upon something dramatically profound if I take the time to read 141 pages again. Usually they end up with their journaled sisters and brothers as something else, recycled into the world of something else.
In 2011 Barack Obama was President, Gabby Gifford got shot, the Boston Bruins won the hockey Stanley Cup, there wasn’t much in the way of good music on the radio. And three women shared the Nobel Peace prize for “their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman. The first two from Liberia, the last from Yemen.
I didn’t win the Nobel prize for Literature that year. But I did start writing my Morning Pages.