Somewhere, buried away, are the masses of field notes I took as an anthropologist on the projects I was involved in over the years. There are field notes on Coastal Maine, on Italian and Portuguese gardens, and notes on Saints festivals. There are notes on the breakup of my first marriage.
In short, there are notes on consequential things that deserve recording for later analysis.
Every once in a while, while tossing junk, I rediscover some notes that have lain fallow for years. There I’ll sit for an hour or more. Then, I am carried back to an event forty or more years gone.
The note-taking continues, but I’m no longer working as an anthropologist, so the notes are on carving projects – the successes, the failures, and the progress from one to another.
And no, I am not a person who keeps a diary, no Samuel Pepys here; my notes have always been pretty pragmatic things, even when writing in a personal vein. I have a memory that is a great storehouse, but the index is poor. The notes are my index. My card catalog, just like in a library. To remember later, I make a note.