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The Path: The keeper of thoughts

The keeper of thoughts lay lazily on my desk. With its covers closed it seemed far warmer than I felt right at these moments as I cradled my coffee, as much for the warmth it gave my hands as for the life giving nectar of wholesome goodness that the cup held inside. I wanted to add more thoughts to this book , this pulp sandwich bought at a Chinese mom and pop stationary store.

  I  should have knew even then that it would be a good keeper of thoughts because as I walked around, if one can walk around a store that is three of your body widths wide, a baby watched me from his crib behind the counter. The baby was quite excited that he had a new friend, he expressed this excitement by smiling widely, looking at me, making some very happy baby sounds and then hitting his mother in the face. Had I known that the journal I was buying would be promoted from a mere journal used to write lesson plans to full blown keeper of thoughts then possibly I would have spent more time looking for one more suitable for writing more than six words on a line

  However, for its original purpose for the keeper of thoughts was to be a conveyor of thoughts It is this conveying of thoughts that makes me need a keeper of thoughts. English is a tool for me, I use it like a hammer to chisel new neural pathways in . use it to explain 写写 (standard Chinese)=xie xie (the official rominization of standard Chinese)=thank you. It is probably a far more difficult mathematical expression then the children will learn all day. It is not easy to do for either myself or the children who hang on to every sound that come out of my mouth hoping to remember it long enough to show their mother and father six hours later at dinner time . I end the days exhausted , unable to convey my thoughts about anything else when I return from work. I often think that if the people who criticize my job as too easy tried it just once they would be left confused, unwilling to leave the neo natal ball the wrapped themselves into after they could not accomplish the same feat. It is harder than any job I had before either as a businessperson , which is just an over glorified version of a carnival barker selling the latest “mystery from the earth” to  desperate  people who feel they need an object just to prove they exist , or as a politician , whom I helped by converting fear and ignorance into accumulated power.  While conveying thoughts leaves me with a great sense of satisfaction when it works, the hours of planning, the choreographed theatrics and the scholarly discourse leave me exhausted and sound asleep with my clothes on and the lights on.

 That is why I need a keeper of thoughts. It helps me remember the good things that I have seen. The five hundred year old bridge with whom I felt disappointed could not tell the stories it has seen of lovers and thieves and ordinary boring details of life in a world that no longer exists. Apparently discussions with 500 year old bridges is universally frowned upon. It keeps my memories of a village wedding and how the bride, my dear friend, glared with mock anger as I joined the grooms family as they pretended they would not let her into her new house without bribes of candy , cigarettes, and promises of what a good wife she will be. The groom sheepishly faced the same obstacle with his family not allowing him to go to his new home without similar bribes and declarations of love for his new wife and promises of un breakable devotion.

  The keeper of thoughts keeps warm, with its imitation fake leather cover, stories others have written as well. Not only the stories themselves but opinions that, because of my unrelenting hubris, I found necessary to point out where thingas could have been better or how impressed I was with other aspects. I write those words in blissful ignorance that the author probably already knows these things. The authors brush strokes as he or she draws vivid words and creates and destroys lives with a simple combination of a twenty-six strangely formed symbols we have anointed as a form of communication.

  I could ask the keeper of the thoughts to expose itself to this cold, rainy, dark morning. After all why should I suffer with the clicking and clacking of the keyboard and the coffee which was being drunk because began to get cold and its value of a warmer of hands had been diminished to the point of non-existence. I could ask the keeper of thoughts to share his treasures with me, but he is sleeping, carrying so many thoughts alone is a terrible burden and one best not faced in the cold of morning. So I let him rest, he needs all the strength he can muster as a new day and new experiences slowly take hold..


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Josh, I have a special

Josh, I have a special relationship with my journal, but through this piece, you have elevated the journal— the “keeper of thoughts” to feel very human, with feelings and a life of its own. You’ve nudged me to step back from my own journals and reexamine what has changed and what is different within my own process. Lovely thoughts to ponder…