A See-Through Romance // A.C.

A See-Through Romance // A.C.

Another month, another notebook filled. This time, it’s farewell to the insert I keep in my TN Passport Blue to collect poetry, quotes and other writings. Déjà vu? I talked a bit about this habit last February. But writing in this copy book felt completely different from 2021’s, for reasons that will soon become apparent. Or rather, transparent.

I was skeptical, at first, of the Super Lightweight paper. Sleek yet still toothy in texture, the balance of glide and catch I feel as my pen nib skates across the page is very different from the creamy and cold-press surfaces I usually prefer to write on. Not every ink soaks in readily. To compensate I’d sometimes have to pause, take my fountain pen apart and give the converter an extra twist to get stronger ink flow. I worried, too, that being able to see the next page would make reading through entries too difficult, and that looking back through the insert later wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

I was wrong. Slowly but surely, the pages became more beautiful with every entry. It’s quite the experience, being able to encounter poems and other beautiful sentences while catching glimpses of hazy stanzas floating in the layers beyond. Reading on, you begin to feel as if you’re moving through a good-sized space full of ambient sounds, like when you sit at a cafe or go to the party of a friend of a friend: a place where conversations meld into a murmur that’s soothing rather than noisy. 

I usually try to group poems of similar moods and themes together. When taken in see-through sequence, the wisdom, power, humor, insight and passion of so many different voices overlaps. The effect, while ephemeral in appearance, is anything but ghostly. Words speak to each other or over each other, turn and talk directly to you when you arrive on the page, fall into a hush as you turn to the next, carry on their conversation long after you’ve moved on to a new thought—are alive.

It could get chaotic if you wrote on both sides of the paper, I suppose. Though I’m sure that’s an interesting look in itself. If you do this, take a picture and tag me. But there’s a special pleasure in writing on only one side of the lightweight paper: the incredibly tactile surface that emerges on the back of the page. Whether the pressure applied was slight or heavy and whether the pen used was a heavy fountain nib or a smooth ballpoint, the back of each frosted glass-like page reveals your hand. (Mine, as you can probably tell from the photos, holds pens too tight and presses down too hard. This is not at all good for the wrist. I’m working on it.)

My affair with this particular insert is coming to a close, but it’s inspired me to keep seeing, or seeing through, semi-transparent paper—starting with BK’s Moment notebook. I’m only a few pages in, but at the moment I use it as a scrapbook for gathering visual and tactile snippets with no particular intent. In what Wakako calls a “so A.C.” move, I’m also filling it from back to front, right to left. My thinking goes, rather than experiencing the layering of materials only when I flip through the notebook after the fact, I’ll be able to watch the colors and lines fade right before my eyes, every time I approach a page, in, well…the moment. Wonder what kind of music’s playing at this party. 

Text and photos by: A.C. Esguerra

Where to find A.C. : instagram @blueludebar

Read other stories by A.C. : Here

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1 comment

  • Quieter Elephant: April 05, 2022
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    I love the way the medium guided the content you chose to fill it with. I find I use different pens/nibs/inks depending on what paper I choose, and that the notebook I select colours the thoughts I then choose to capture.

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