My truant pen

In many ways it’s ironic that I’m such a happy denizen of the internet. I have this great and passionate love affair with paper and pen. For example, the other day my husband and I went on a date to Borders. (What? You’ve probably done the same thing.) While there, I purchased a gift for my 16 year old self. It’s a black leather journal embossed with a Celtic knot. 16-year-old-me went nuts over it, and promptly began writing poetry about how very alone I am, interspersed with overwrought descriptions of rain. (What can I say? I was raised in the Northwest!) You think that I started writing when blogs were invented? Hardly. I just switched from paper journals to blogs.

In some ways I prefer blogs. Paper journals never talked back.

In other ways, I miss the beauty and tactile fulfillment of paper and pen. There is an intense satisfaction to page after page of imprinted Bic writing in my even, if unlovely hand. The feel of a journal, with secrets, in your hand, lends your words a feeling of weight. You build, literally, upon the pages of the past.

I remember I always had problems when writing my journals with audience. I always wrote TO people. With a journal, I just never knew who those people were, although I pondered. My unthought-of children? My future self? My biographers? Now I know. I write to YOU.

There is a pen at the top of this blog. This is not a coincidence. It is an expression of my fancy and fantasy. I will likely now never write anything of great consequence with a pen. It is far too slow compared to the flying dance my fingers do over the keyboard. But I dream of ink, of creamy blank paper, and of the filling of space with words of import.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

One thought on “My truant pen”

  1. In You’ve Got Mail, there is a section where he writes about the wonder of school supplies and offers a “Bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils” as a gift. I love that image. And yes, part of going back to school for me is school supplies. They are wonderful.


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