Monday, April 16, 2007

on keeping a journal

From the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson
April 15-16, 1839

The simple knot of Now & Then will give an immeasureable value to any sort of catalogue or journal kept with common sense for a year or two. See in the Merchant's compting room for his peddling of cotton & indigo, the value that comes to be attached to any Blotting book or Leger; and if your aims & deeds are superior, how can any record of yours (suppose, of the books you wish to read, of the pictures you would see, of the facts you would scrutinize) -- any record that you are genuinely moved to begin & continue -- not have a value proportionately superior? It converts the heights you have reached into table land. The book or literary fact which had the whole emphasis of attention a month ago stands here along with one which was as important in preceding months, and with that of yesterday; &, next month, there will be another. Here they will occupy but four lines & I cannot read these together without juster views of each than when I read them singly.

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