(This blog was originally posted to my Myspace blog last year. Felt like sharing it here.)
I found it in a used book store in Georgetown about a year or so ago. Alex and I were in the area, touring the town when we happen to spot the place. Both of us being lover of books, decide to pop in and see what they had. I glanced around, looking for classic children's literature, a recent mission I had set myself on, but I really didn't find anything there that struck me. I started to just browse around and worked my way towards the back of the second half of the store. It was there that something caught my eye. The beaded fabric cover of what looked like a journal. It was sitting on top of a bookshelf, out of place. It didn't seem to be a part of the pile of books that were in boxes behind the shelf. Curious, I opened it. On the first page were handwritten in blue ink the words "The Great and Mysterious Story of Me." First thought that came to mind was, "What in the heck is a journal doing in a used book store?" Second, "Who's is it?" Neither of my questions would ever be answered. I continued to turn the pages, read a few more lines and found myself completely engrossed in a story about the woman whose life she was writing in this book. "Whatcha reading?" It was Alex's voice that broke my concentration. "What's that?" he asked. Closing it quickly, as if I was caught with my own diary opened, I answered, "It's a journal." Knowing that I love collecting journals (key word: collecting, because I can't ever finish writing in them) he says, "That's neat. May I see?" Hesitating for a moment, I handed it to him. He gently moves his hand over the bead work on the front cover. Then he opens it. A bewildered look comes across his face. "Someone's written in it." I quickly respond, "I've gotta have it." His look only intensifies. "What? Why? Kathy it has writing in it. Someone's already written in it. Why in the world would you want to buy it?" "I just do." He shrugs, as usual, and with that, I take the book to the front desk where a young lady sits, reading a book, of course. I tell her that I've found this journal in the back, and that I'm not sure if it's for sale, but if it is, that I was willing to purchase it. She takes it, looks at it, opens it up and again. The bewildered look. "Hmmm...and you said you found this where?" I told her. "Hmmm...I'll have to ask my boss about it. She owns the store. She'll probably know. But she's not here right now. If you'll leave me your name and number I can try to call you back." The thought of leaving this new found treasure was torture. But alas, I agreed. We left the store, both empty handed, but my mind full of wonder.
The next day came and still no call. I couldn't take it. I picked up the phone. The lady at the desk answered. "Sorry, she still hasn't had a chance to look at it to tell me. I still have your number. It's right here."
The following day came and still no call. SURELY, she's seen it by now. Again, anxious and impatient, I dial the number to the bookstore. This time it was a different woman who answered. It was the owner. She says she saw the note with my name and number attached to the book but wasn't sure why. I explained the situation to her and she said she would sell me the book. I quickly grabbed my purse and keys and bolted out of the apartment, into my truck, and headed straight to Georgetown. When I got there, the owner, a pleasant woman in her early to mid 50s sat at the desk. Trying to remain calm and not stupid like, I told her who I was and what I was there for. She said she had looked over the journal and couldn't recall where it came from. When I told her where I had gotten it, she said that it must've came from a box of books that she had received but never had a chance to work through. I asked her how much she wanted the book for. She told me that I could have it. "I'm willing to pay for it," I tell her. "Honey, it's got writing in it. You can have it." All the stars must've been aligned at that specific moment because it felt like it was destined to be mine. Ha! I said my many thank yous and dashed back towards home.
Once I got there, I examined the journal carefully as if I had been given as a gift from an exotic land far away. My so-called gift was apparently made in India, according to the sticker with the UPC bar code and price (originally $14.95) that was still stuck on the inside of the back cover. Probably from Barnes and Noble. I love that place. But no where in this book was there any clue as to who it had originally belonged to. So then, I decided to read it again, from the beginning. Twelve and a half pages of a woman's thoughts and emotions were written, starting off with recollections from her childhood. She is a writer, which I quickly picked up on by the way she wrote. I am amazed at how similar we are in many respects. She seems to be seeking out peace with the Divine. Peace with her own life. The writing is beautiful. The more I read thinking I understand, she leaves me wanting to know more. Questions I have. "What books did you write? Are you happy with your life now?" But no answer, for the journal ends with this last thought..."I've learned, I've enjoyed, but only brief highs, nothing that makes me feel closer to God or to my higher purpose. I also know that eating well, exercising and not smoking doesn't do it either. It's all in Spirit - I suppose. I don't really know. I am hoping."
So I sit here with a journal that someone else wrote in, a mysterious person indeed and I am now left wondering to myself, "Should the next entry be mine?"