Published: April 14, 2012
It started out as a tree. It later became an implement, an implement that changed everyone's lives. It has been living for ages and has evolved into futuristic utensils. As it ages it shrinks and lives an unforgettable life. It places thoughts onto paper and ideas into books. It can be long and smooth or rough and short. It comes in many personalities as well does its abilities. It can draw, shade, mark lengths, or sketch. Only my pencil can write.
I received my first pencil when I was four years old. I instantly grabbed it and looked at its peculiar shape. It was long and yellow and had rough edges. At the head it was sharp and pointy and had a black stub on it. At the end of the object nearly as long as my hand sat a small rounded butt as pink as my polka-dot dress. At first I didn't know what to do with it when my mother placed her hand around mine and pressed the blackened tip of the object onto paper. I stared in awe as she outlined the shape of a heart. I smiled and began drawing. I was unable to write at the time as thoughts poured into my mind. I drew whatever I thought I could draw: a horse, a tree, a car, a dog, my family. I loved that pencil; it was my best friend.
It was sad to lose a best friend like that; it could've been anywhere. I could be under the couch, in between the cushions, behind furniture or even in the garbage. How small that pencil became, it was like it wanted to be thrown away. The wonders of how he came to be filled me. How he was probably just a splinter on a redwood tree and was crafted into a beautiful friend. A bond with a pencil is like how dogs are man's best friend: the dog tagging along and lifting up your spirits every time you make eye contact: the idea of playtime and letting your dreams run wild: the quality time together is better than life itself.
Then there is the cat that tends to stay very well away from the dog. In this case, that would be the pen. Oh how the pen and its inerasable words and how it is built for the richest of the rich. The pen and pencil battle for dominance and my pencil wins hands down. My pencil easily overlooks mistakes and move on while the pen lingers over an unforgettable past. As the pencil lives a happy and head-strong life, so will I.
As the master hand takes a pencil from its home with its brothers and sisters, it takes one look at both implement and objective and begins. The grip is varied by the fingers and hand. How the hand massages the pencil for the perfect stance is important before taking a leap of faith into the human brain. What the mind thinks is shown in gray on a thin, blue lined sheet of paper. A small scribble can become a letter while a few more can become a word. The more words the better as I always say when an idea comes to mind. If your hand refuses to move, write anything and everything that you are thinking about. There are no mistakes in writing words. A mind thinks what a mind thinks and those thoughts can be put to paper in a matter of seconds just by grabbing a pencil.
As soon as those thoughts are put onto the paper, they spill out the true sense of one's being, or a mystical creature's past, or a mystery waiting to unfold. Nothing is much better than a hand-written story. How stories can be told! Like an English teacher reading a story to his class or by stanzas from a poet. Stories are also told in the mind of a composer. As one would hear a tune in one's head and instantly write it down with nothing more than a pencil. As soon as notes are put onto the manuscript, words leap in to join them. Stories and songs must flow in their own way, like a breeze whispering through blossoming trees or like a river flowing through lands.
But as every story goes, there comes the review from a friend. They pull out their fancy pen, which the pencil dislikes. They write some do's and don'ts and suggestions and rewording. They underline and replace. As angry red is blurred into the masterpiece, the pencil grows sad and weary. To be questioned and pressured about my own thoughts is like doubting the president on his laws. Revision and questioning slams down in front of me; I scramble for words. I am blinded by the red that was scarred onto the once gray and white paper. There was no other terror than being questioned about my own work. This is a main component of being a writer. Revisions, revisions, revisions. I know every time I place a word here, it would be suggested that I should place it over there. There was another thing about being a writer: there are no limits to what I do and how I do it. I make my own choices as well as change the plot. I am able to control this story as well as my mind. Sentences can be reworded, switched around or taken back entirely.
When the major of the master hand decides to remove a word or sentence, those pencils start pulling back away from the paper. Words are meant to be put on paper, and then bound, then put into stores for the world to see. Erasing means second-guessing; one should always go with their first thoughts when writing. The first thing to come to mind is probably the best idea to write down. Yet my mind decides to erase the thought and continue on. To erase a word is like trying to remove a temporary tattoo off skin. A rough stroking motion rubs against the paper, removing the word and leaving only a small piece of gray rubber behind. How the pencil hates the eraser is like having the devil on one's shoulder. He cannot remove the evil unless broken. When broken he cannot continue writing. A pencil can be used down to the stub and will become the smallest of its kind. Some people keep them as a remembrance and others toss them like they were rotten food.
As human beings evolve into delicate and futuristic generations, so do pencils. While some pencils are manufactured from their old home, tucked into the bark of a tree, others are manufactured and come out long-lasting and refillable. If pencils are replaced by touch pads or are forgotten for the rest of the century, there might be no thought of how the world became to be without something to write about. If the only thing that was important in the world was to show what our minds were saying was just a touchpad, there would be only one thing in my mind, more like my hand, that would keep telling me who I really am.
And that thing is long, has ridges, smells like wood and places my thoughts to paper.