Monday Musings: Pen Envy


I love pens. I have a collection of them. Unfortunately, I’ve had them for so long that they frequently betray me by not working when I finally get around to pulling one out of the drawer. They’ve waited so long for other pens to run out of ink, that they’ve dried up while waiting. It hurts to throw them away. I’ve thought of cannibalizing the ink tubes out of other pens, but that does seem a bit obsessive. It’s just that I feel bad for all the things that the pen would have wanted to write if the ink had stayed fresh.

Office supply stores are fascinating to me. If I worked there, I’m sure my whole paycheck would go to filling a whole room at home with pens. Yellow pens, blue pens, pens that have black ink, blue ink, red ink. For one year in high school, I used only purple ink. Rebellious, I know. And I paid the price. A full grade point reduced for not following directions and using black or blue ink. No. It was worth it. Purple ink was a statement, and a show of solidarity to two other friends who vowed to do the same. I’ve wondered if they ever regretted the lower GPA we all walked out with on account of our purple vendetta. I have always been proud of it. I believe I went through three purple pens that year.

Watching the movie, Quills, was painful to me. Not because it was about the Marquis de Sade, but because he was not allowed to have a pen. Think of the torture that must have been to have the stories back up in his mind with no way to write them down. Especially the stories that bubbled up out of his dark mind.

Journalling can be cathartic, therapeutic and freeing. I can’t imagine a day without it. Just putting thoughts down on paper (we will talk about paper at another time) is enough to help me walk away from a thought or a worry. I have kept a God-box for years with little notes to God. And yes, I use purple ink. You can use any color ink you like with God.

And so, another year rolls around to Back to School shopping. I watch the children obtaining their year supply of paper, erasers, pencils, lunch boxes. But I must admit I have pen envy. Blue, orange, yellow. Wonderful pens. Can anyone have enough?