permanent eraser.

This next week will mark the end of a crucial era: I quit my job working at the garment factory and will fully immerse myself in the BYU visual arts department.

My art teacher/ TA boss, Joe Ostraff, said he bow-hunted. When I expressed some surprise, he explained that he felt everyone who eats meat should be capable of killing and gutting animals so they can obtain a full awareness of what they are doing and assume some responsibility for it.

I completely agree with this, although I'd like to add that I feel the same way about manufacturing. I think every consumer should work in a manufacturing plant for just one day to appreciate what it means to be provided with cheap goods. It is back-breaking work, even when the circumstances are regulated and the pay is fair.

And even then, I will miss it.
Not the back-breaking labor-- although it allowed me the opportunity to prove to myself that I am a hard worker-- I will miss the company of my heroic and humble co-workers. The majority of women there are immigrants; strong women who support their families. They never had the opportunity for education because they were busy raising their children. These women are grateful, kind, and sincere despite the monotony if their lives. I will miss their influence.

I also regret leaving behind my reputation. I think more than anyone, these women know that I am tougher than nails and respect me accordingly. They've experienced my grit, endurance, and audacity in both physical and emotional turmoil for over 3 years. They've allowed me to cry on their shoulders and been quick to cheer me on in even my smallest triumphs. In some ways, I feel like I'm starting all over again.

On my plane ride to New York, I left my sketchbook in the seat pocket in front of me. My stomach felt sick when I realized it yesterday. This particular sketchbook contains every journal entry I ever wrote while I was married to the present. It includes every sketch I've ever posted on this blog. I've expressed on more than one occasion that if my house were burning down, I'd grab my sketchbooks and leave. They are a record of everything.

But in considering the loss of this particular sketchbook, maybe I can let it go. I can't think of anything that would would make me immediately more depressed than reading those entries from when I was married. I've only read them twice and they markedly altered my mood for the entire day.

I am a strong advocate of coming to terms with truth and the importance of acknowledging past events, but maybe something beyond my regular state of consciousness wanted me to leave that sketchbook that seat pocket. Maybe I've come to terms enough.

I unwrapped a new sketchbook today. One that I bought a long time ago, but had been saving. It's beautiful with thick, creamy paper and a shiny leather cover.

I can't wait to see what will fill its pages.


whitney joy said...

no way!
can you imagine the person who finds it? this weekend as I was on a plane mckay told me she almost had to barf in one of those barf bags, and pulled the one out in her seat, and it already had barf in it!!!
what you left behind will surely provide an interesting flight for someone!

laura said...

I know! I'm so worried it will show up on foundmagazine.com.

MiriamR said...

I thought I lost all my journals from Childhood to present the other day when we were moving because they were no where to be found (I didn't) but it was a tough two days of all my thoughts gone from the past.
At least now you can have a new beautiful slate to write on. I love getting new journals just because it feels like a new opportunity everytime.

Dylan said...

i hope i show up in your new book. it was really good to see you yesterday.

A said...

Your blog was illuminating. I think even if you don't find your sketch book you can fill the new one with the new chapters in your life.

mim said...

Every time I go back and read miserable journal entries, I tear them out and either burn or shred them so that I can forget that part of my pas and just move on. Sometimes I wish I didn't do that, but I keep doing it, so I obviously have no real regrets.

Sorry you lost your journal. Maybe it got pulled by the flight attendants. You could call the airport where you landed and see if they have it.

Marie said...

Ahh! Here's to tabula rasa and the intoxicating scent of unsullied paper!

Amanda Jane said...

I loved this. I hope somebody who needed it more than you found it. I'm happy you have a new sketch book for your new life.

MikeAlger said...

This is such a cool blog entry. The way its written seems like the last page of a good tragedy novel.