I was enjoying the DVD from BBC America entitled “Sahara with Michael Palin” that I borrowed from the library this weekend. This is not a review of the video program as such, but I must say, “WOW!” I like travel logs. I’ve been known to watch Steve Whatshisname on our public television station and it is okay but Michael Palin is the one who got me hooked with the first program he did called “Around the World in 80 Days.”
What really grabbed my attention on this program was the more than one shot of Mr. Palin writing in his journal. On one of the special features, he pulls it out of his bag and shows it. I didn’t recognize the manufacturer’s name (it began with “A”) but Mr. Palin pointed out the flexible all-weather cover and the sewn binding as desirable features. The pen was never mentioned, but I’m taking a wild guess that it is a good quality ballpoint. The guess is based on the extreme heat and diverse conditions in which it was used (camels play a small part). (I’d like to think that Mr. Palin uses a fountain pen when he is at home.)
While in the library, I also checked out the book “Himalaya” by Michael Palin. I noted in the introduction written by Mr. Palin that the book was based upon the journals he wrote during the filming of that travel log. Apparently, he also has written one on “Sahara.”
Travel journals are only one example of personal writing. I flash back to the motivational event I attended last February where Rudy Giuliani encouraged the audience to read and more importantly to write every day. He mentioned that he writes every morning before beginning his day. I was disappointed that he didn’t elaborate on this a bit more as I was curious how he viewed his writing: brainstorming, journaling, or other.
I don’t think personal writing is experiencing resurgence so much as it is being talked about more. Great men and women instinctively turn to personal writing as a part of their daily lives. We hear about them because they are “great” in our eyes. The not so great among us also have the same pull to the page.
I am not a traveler. I am a daydreamer. A daydreamer who writes every day.