Friday, April 3, 2009

Nostalgic Musings

I used to have a pencil box. It was purple, plastic and had few, but colorful stickers on it. Inside the box resided #2 pencils, color pencils, big fat pencils with big fat erasers, smooth sided pencils, chewed up pencils, pencils with points on both ends, a special pencil filled with rocks that I got at a school field trip to a science center, white erasers, pink erasers, green erasers, and a purple pencil sharpener. The weight of the box felt just right in my hand and it made a neat percussive sound when I shook it, but I tried not to shake it too hard for fear of breaking tips. I loved the way the lead, wood and rubber all combined to make a smell that always comforted me. And I loved the different way each pencil felt in my hand. That’s how they were chosen to be used, except the chewed one. That one was for math and other thoughtful tasks.

Now I have a pen which I use only to sign things with, a cell phone that I use to text with more than to talk with, and a computer to write things with on a screen simulating a sheet of paper, adding to my carbon footprint in the process. I use fonts instead of good penmanship and backspace or delete instead of erase. I open a new file instead of balling up paper and creating a pile on the floor that reflects my hard work and frustrations. I never break a tip and never sharpen a keyboard. I don’t doodle absentmindedly when I lose my train of thought, and instead of hand cramps I get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter or made an entry in a journal. I still have some beautiful stationary with a sage border and wild flowers across the top that my mother gave me many years ago. And I have a leather bound journal with only one entry in it. I think I’ll turn off my computer, find a pen that fits my hand perfectly, write a letter to someone I miss, and write my dreams in my journal.


  1. I remember your doodles; they would fill a whole page. Abstract, semi-amorphous blobs with sharp, pointy parts here and there... one almost emerging from another... I always thought they were so cool.

  2. I know the feeling. I have been on the internet so long, I am beginning to feel more like machine than man.

    You're a good writer. Looking forward to reading more.

    Dusty Smith

  3. I just wrote a letter...oddly enough to a boy who's last name is Smith (I guess that's not really odd, Smith is a common last name but still). Our friendship seems to be failing and all we have left are the letters, maybe words can save it?

    You can always write me letters Aunt Liz =)

  4. Thanks guys. And Jess, absolutely. BTW - you were the inspiration for this story. Something you wrote on facebook... thanks!