one line a day. on paper.

April 7, 2009
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diana from please sir mentioned this status calendar in a twitter post and i had to check it out at design milk. in this crazy world of constant digital information, the idea of writing something down seems pretty nice. as someone who has spent more time in archives than i care to divulge, the idea of preservation and memory is more or less always on my mind. what will happen to these digital records that we all make? twenty years from now will my kids be able to read my blog posts, my tweets, my facebook updates? will they want to? will i want to? does it matter?

my dad’s uncle has a line-a-day calendar that belonged to my great-grandfather. it works like this: the little leather-bound volume has its pages divided into five sections. once a day, for five years, he wrote what we might call a status update. on the page marked october 5, for example, there are five entries, one for each october 5 between 1923-1928. the result is beautiful, heartbreaking, haunting, and magical all at the same time.

before starting this blog i was never able to commit to any kind of long-term record keeping or journal writing. but a line a day? that seems doable. and isn’t there something about thumbing through a paper record that just feels good? i’d love to know what you all think!

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11 Comments

  • Reply wunderbug April 7, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    mmm. i love this concept. i’d be fascinated (and hungry for more) if i was able to get my hands on something like this from my grandparents.

    there’s something very pleasing about being concise.

  • Reply Emily April 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I often wonder what remnants of my life will exist after I leave this earth. I try to write a little bit in a journal each day, even if it’s only a line. I agree wholeheartedly about handling paper, be it a newspaper (my heart is breaking with the demise of our nation’s print media), book, or a letter from a loved one.

  • Reply Amanda Nicole April 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    That sounds like a fabulous idea. I would love to go back to this day 1, 5, 10 years ago and see where I was in my life. I think we also write more thoughtfully when it’s on paper, because you can’t go back and hit delete – all scratches and mistakes are clear. And what a great gift to pass on to the younger generation!

  • Reply Light and Writing April 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    This sounds like a fantstic idea! I would die to have something like that from a relative! You may have just inpsired me to attempt to do the same! I am like you in that I have never been able to commit to journaling or or keeping daily entries until the blog (and even that is not day to day personal) but this seems very doable! Thanks!!

  • Reply littlebyrd April 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    That’s a really cool idea. It’s funny – just this morning I had the same thought about my blog and will it still be around and available 20 years from now?

  • Reply Nicole Marie April 7, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    thats the best idea ever!! if we can update our twitters and facebooks everyday, we have time to write a line on a piece of paper!

  • Reply Gypsy Lynne April 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    what a great post! i love the idea of journaling but never keep at it. i LOVE what your great grandfather did and think i may start something like that myself!

  • Reply megan April 8, 2009 at 1:43 am

    great post! 🙂 thanks for sharing…xoxo

  • Reply Emz April 8, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Yea. hm… Maybe I’ll start doing this? I used to keep a journal.. It was rather. awful. haha

  • Reply Beth April 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Wow, that is incredible, what your great-grandad did. Love this post…very inspiring!

  • Reply lesley April 15, 2009 at 5:42 am

    i love this, what a sweet idea. i may have to start the one-line journal. i like the idea of my kids reading my thoughts on paper rather than a screen. thankyou!

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