Scribbler

scribbling
"I might be writing a script … "

My ancient oak desktop holds two old notebooks. Its drawers hold several more. A pile of papers two feet tall sits atop the old steamer trunk across the room. My dresser top holds a couple more old notebooks, and a bookshelf holds more than a dozen completed journals. I carry a small Moleskin® in my back pocket wherever I go, and a pen in my right front pocket, for I am a Scribbler. I'm more inclined to jot down a short descriptive phrase than to snap a quick cellphone photo, for I more meaningfully retain my experiences with words than with pictures. I'm just wired that way.

My son's a Scribbler, too, though as a trained fine artist, he scribbles sketches, genuine visual images.
He was born that way, never very distant from his paper as a child, he'd scribble while watching TV, even scribbling in the pocket of his baseball glove when posted in right field back in his T-Ball days, much to the continued consternation of his team's coach, who was apparently not a Scribbler. Us scribblers can't hardly help the way we are, just like you can't really help the way you are, for the way one is requires no assistance. Who we are gushes out around our gaskets no matter how we might attempt to prevent it from showing. It's a kinetic kind of knowing manifesting itself to the world.

Scribbling rarely produces any great masterwork, for it emerges more as warm-up exercise-type activity. People might peek over a Scribbler's shoulder hoping to discover what's on their mind, though certainly in my case, such stealth rarely receives any reward. How am I supposed to decipher those scrawls? Deciphering's not the point of producing them. I only rarely go back to attempt to recover what I've scribbled. That stuff just kept the old writer's muscles nimble. The content always was beside the point.

Oh, there was a time, back when I was still a young and aspiring Scribbler, when I treated every jot as though it might yield pure gold. Then, I'd tromp around the neighborhood after dark stalking my next BIG idea, and crouch in streetlights to capture every promising phrase. I'd later dutifully transcribe these mumblings into some more permanent form, even further develop them, most often into a song. My walking cadence would serve as my metronome and I'd try on rhythmically matching phrases, hoping for a tune to emerge alongside. I'd be gone for hours marching to my internal drummer, seeking confirmation or realization or something.

Scribbling's a SmallThing, almost a tic of an activity, ink blots captured not for posterity but probably more to prevent internal pressures from building up beyond sustainable levels. I might actually have blown up had I not maintained this outlet. It might be that I know myself as a result of my scribbling, that without it, I'd be as utterly clueless as I sometimes seem, but I'm writing a script that says otherwise. I might know myself too well as a result of my scribbling. I understand what warrants capturing with paper and ink, and the world seems less undifferentiated as a direct result, or so I say. I seek material for my pen, arriving home with a back pocket freshly filled with impressions which seem more meaningful for my care. I might be writing a script not for future production, but as the story unfolds, never to be retold again.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved








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