Shitloads of sand all over the place

I’m at a little bit of a loss as to what to write, as my thoughts about my commonplace book are not very defined right now. As I had suspected, the lack of organization – i.e., an index of some sort – does bother me somewhat. I do still like the “let me just leaf through it and see what I find!” idea I had for it originally; that does still appeal to me quite a bit. I like the idea of rediscovering a quote or a poem or what have you when I don’t expect to. But then, what about when I want to find a specific quote to, say, use in my writing or in a discussion or to post on FB when I’m feeling like educating the unwashed masses of social media? It would be nice to be able to go directly to it.

Hence I am toying with the idea of trying Evernote. I have been using iOS’s rudimentary notepad to collect things I want to put into my CPB, so in a way I’m part of the way there, though my notes in notepad are rather like what’s in my CPB–no discernible order or organization, just written down in the order they come to me. But then…but then…if I use Evernote, how do I organize? By topic? By date? By publication? I have to go back and reread your post about how you use it. Maybe I’ll try that out for a week or so and see if it’s any different or better.

I am so sad, though, about the thought of giving up my paper and pen. I just don’t do enough that’s nondigital these days, and I think that might be why I’m clinging to this even though I can objectively admit that a digital CPB does have its advantages. I’ve been trying to make other similar regressive forays–reading actual paper books, for example, rather than reading Kindle books–and having the same amount of success. Kindle is just so much more convenient for so many reasons.

Another topic I’ve been pondering is what sort of things I should collect in my CPB. We’ve already discussed the quantity versus quality factor and pretty much decided quantity is where it’s at, but does that mean I should include everything that catches my eye or ear? Specifically I’m thinking here of a Pinterest board I have where I collect…well, I guess you could call them inspirational or motivational sayings solely for the purpose of including them in a therapy journal I keep. For example:

Cheesy stuff, maybe, but things I need reminding about from time to time. I print out pictures like this and tape them in my journal or write down the quotes and then just look through the journal from time to time, when I’m not feeling so good. There’s that browsing idea again–I guess I like a lot of things that way.

So the question is, should I include things like this in my CPB as well? It seems to me they’re a little hokey for CPB’s purposes. I feel like what goes in the CPB should be more serious, should be more about revealing truth or recording beautiful words than about aphorisms and affirmations. I’m not too decided on this yet. Either way, I will keep including these pictures and others like them in my therapy journal. My CPB is not going to replace that.

To conclude this random collection of thoughts, here are two poems I’m entering into my commonplace book tonight:

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

(found on tumblr, author unknown)
I met a traveller from way the hell off
who said: two gigantic, fucked-up rock legs
be out there in the middle of goddamn nowhere
right next to them covered in shit some kinda big face
looked pretty pissed & upset & whatnot
all damn covered in words
“yo ozymandias here, this my shit”
“better than your shit, get fucked buddy”
not much else tho, just sand
shitloads of sand all over the place

One response to “Shitloads of sand all over the place”

  1. I am totally with you on CPB formatting. Digital is way easier and more useful but it absolutely lacks the beauty of something hand-written. Maybe as we go something will occur to use that incorporates hand-writing.
    I do not do anything to organize quotes within Evernote. I’ve just been making a single post for every work I read/listen to — mostly because that’s the easiest thing to do. I theoretically should be tagging them, but I haven’t been yet. Maybe after I have more entries something will occur to me.
    When I was using Slack for a while, they had a nice feature that allowed you to enter a big list of quotations and those would randomly appear on the screen while it was loading. That created a nice way to just happen across a thought. I don’t think Weebly has anything that sophisticated but that’s a good feature if we ever decide to build a CPB app. In fact, I’m going to create a Google spreadsheet to track feature requests just in case we ever get to that point (it’s my fantasy outcome here).
    I like cheesy stuff. I think you should include them in your CPB collection.
    At some point I would like to hear more about your therapy journal. It sounds kind of similar to the shared journal idea, but just for yourself.
    Great poetry diptych.


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About Me

I’m Victoria Griffith and I am enthusiastic about a LOT of things. Pine trees and mushrooms and the desert. Ocotillos, motorcycles, travel, and photography. Friendship and writing and books and surviving the love of your life’s terminal diagnosis. I blog about some of these things here, mostly about books and writing, but about the other stuff now and then too.

I was born in Paterson NJ, call Seattle WA my home, and spend the winters in the desert of Southern California. I try to get out to see as much of the world as time and money will allow. 

If you’d like to say hi, you can reach me at


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