Monday, August 31, 2009

Pen or pencil?

I've always been a fan of the pen. Even before I acquired this surname and found myself dodging adolescent humor regarding my chosen profession (and before I turned the tables on that humor and put the power of my "Penn" to good use in a business moniker that makes sense and brings a smile to my face!).

Simply, I'm not a pencil kind of person. Many are. For that, the makers of silly eraser tops and yellow No. 2 jumbo packs are grateful.

It really comes down to the way a pen feels in your hand. I like the flow of fresh ink on paper. It seems to magically transfer itself from the thoughts in my head to the glistening page before me. But, that magic disappears like the first snowflakes on a child's tongue when a pencil is the implement of transference.

It feels unwieldy and somehow makes the words less effusive and colorful. Pencils are perfect for geometry lessons and keeping score at a golf course. I've even witnessed a pencil or two bring a third grader's musings on summer vacation to life. But, that is really where it must end.

The pencil has one downfall that simply cannot be overlooked. It is erasable.

Not just forgettable, like bad prose. It is erasable.

You are giving control over to anyone wielding a rubber smiley face or some such molded bit of horror. The thought quakes my very soul. Erasable.

No need for a better idea or a new thought. Just the power to swish the surface with the reverse tip of the pencil and forever eradicate thoughts, feelings, hopes, invitations, scribbles, or declarations of love (okay, let's face it really anything!). Turning it into roughened pulp or scattered bits of reddish/orange synthetic rubber.

Whether drafting clever advertising copy or creating the weekly shopping list, the pen is a mighty and satisfying tool, offering more than just its ink. The pen is confident. Often colorful. Bold or delicate, as is needed for the moment.

Rediscover your pen. Draft your thoughts in unbridled bliss, forever etched on 20 pound text, with or without lines. Writing with a pen is a little like the taste of apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream -- delicious and reminiscent of an unspoiled time, rich with hope and promise.

There, now that I've gotten that off my chest -- let me tell you what I think about the backspace key!