Of Pens and Pages

I always carry my notebook with me and I always bring my pen. There is something terrifying about the thought of leaving home without a pen. To venture into the unknown without this essential piece of self seems unwise and unsafe.

My pen is silver and cool; it has a nice weight to it as my hand glides across the page. We have been together for so long, my pen and I. I wrote my last two novels with it and other things since. I have many different pens, and yet I always write with this one when I want to access something real and true. I keep buying ink refills and when they run out, I feel slightly despairing until there is a new pack in my hand.

I’ve run through several different notebooks, but I like them a certain way: black, leather bound, simple with smooth pages on which you can write right to the margins. There are many days on which the notebook never leaves my bag. Despite this, I know it is there and the knowledge comforts me. The notebook is a friend and an extension of my self, a glimpse into openness and honest expression. The awareness of its presence bolsters me, injects confidence into insecurity.

Ideas often appear at the unlikeliest of moments. After I have turned off the light and my breathing slows, a line floats before my mind, unearthed from somewhere deep within. In these cases, I am prepared with a notebook and pen to jot down the sudden fragment. There are other times of silence filled by cars roaring past me and the sound of wind that whistles overhead and through branches. There are ordinary moments such as these, when a lingering word will not leave until I find a blank page and ensure its preservation.

My notebook and pen hold great significance; I carry them with me as though fastened to my sleeve. These objects are indispensable inside my little world, but their importance lies in where they take me and what I find when I am there. I don’t know what I would do if I lost either of them. I would experience sadness, for certain. And yet there are other pens and other pages. There will be more words as I long as I listen for them. The notebook and pen are less than the ideas that give them meaning.

In a sense, I carry with me a reminder. And this I would like to bring with me whenever I leave home.