Thursday, March 10, 2011

The life and meaning of a pen

A few years ago in a flight of fancy I came up with this; hope you enjoy...

            I am a pen.  I have many purposes in life and perform many functions.  However, my purpose in life is determined by others, my destiny is not my own.  My primary function is to write.  I am used to sign documents, write out checks, leave love notes and good-byes.
            When I sit beside a guest book my purpose it to leave lasting memories for families to read.  Notes that are both sorrowful and sympathetic (such as at a funeral) or notes of congratulations and encouragement in life (such as at a wedding.)  I am an instrument of communication. 
            Down through the ages I have had many different looks and styles.  I have been a feather, cut at the end and dipped in a bottle of ink.  I have been made of wood, reeds and other such items that are conducive to conducting ink to paper.  I am ballpoint, fine or medium in width.  I am felt-tipped, calligraphy, gel, click, large barreled and small.  But whatever I am, I know that I am a pen, an instrument of communication.
            When I sit for long periods of time without being used, my ink dries.  I become useless until friction or fire melts my ink, causing it to flow freely again, my life’s blood spilling from my artery onto the paper, defining my life as a pen, an instrument of communication.
            Please do not perceive that I have feelings, I do not sense loneliness when I am not used or you chose another pen over me.  No, I wait silently in a penholder or on a table, beside a journal or guest book.  Time does not pass for me, I am not jealous of another’s shiny exterior or rotund barrel that is easier to hold.  I do not lust for the life of a pencil, for my entries are permanent.  When I write on the pages of life, I am not easily erased, I am bold, confident even when smudged, for I AM A PEN, an instrument of communication.
            Computers have taken away some of my function.  But computers cannot leave entries in guest books, cannot sign checks at the bank, do not have personal touch of a handwritten card or note.  I have lain in the hand of maestros as they write concertos and symphonies.  Granted the work was begun by a pencil, but completed by me, a pen an instrument of communication.
            I wrote the scriptures in many languages before Guttenberg was born.  I brought permanence to the dreams of Leonardo and wrote the musings of Dante and Poe.  I scribed the hieroglyphics in the caves of early man and flown into space.  I have traveled the seas, charted the stars and down through the ages been used to solidify the fluidity of time and history.  Technology was drawn and recorded by me, a pen an instrument of communication.  Technology that would seek to replace me cannot for I am a pen an instrument of communication.
            If you sense any jealousy, it is not in me for all of my feelings come from the one that charts my destiny, defines my purpose, gives me life.  For I wait silently in a penholder or on a table beside a journal, for I am a pen, simply a pen an instrument of communication.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My "Little Comforts"

I have just made a cup of tea, Christmas Chai to be exact.  As I was lifting the tea bag out of the cup, snuffing up the wonderful aromas of the spices I thought, “this is one of my little comforts.”  As I poured honey on the spoon and dipped it into the steaming liquid, I began to reflect on “my little comforts.”  It is at moments like this that I realize that it does not take a lot to comfort me although I realize the opposite is also true, often times it is the “little things” that make me uncomfortable.

As is obvious from my disappearance from this blog for over two months, I have been preoccupied with the little discomforts of winter in Maine.  Being cold, damp, worried about oil, shoveling what seems like endless amounts of snow and driving on less than optimal road conditions have sapped my creative energy like my furnace drains the oil tank.  I would like to reach a point in my life and attitude that this is not true; that I would look to my little comforts and take advantage of the peace God has provided me in them.

Oh Father God caretaker of the storehouses of snow, let me see the beauty in your creation and trust that you take care of me in the midst of the winter!

Back to my little comforts, I enjoy a good cup of tea in the evening.  I like reading a good book while sitting under a warm blanket or in the sun.  I am comforted by my cat on my lap or feeling the warmth of my dog lying at the foot of my bed or the feel of fleece against my skin and the weight of a wool sweater.  For me it is easy to forget these little comforts in the summer, I don’t need as much comforting I guess.  The smell of the ocean, sound of waves and the whistle of a lighthouse that is summer comfort.  A cup of coffee beside a campfire by a body of water and the sound of nature at play; I find joy in those.

I have written in the past about my “romance of the seasons.”  Although I have not shared it in the blog, they exist on my computer.  What I have just come to realize is that in fall and winter, I seek to be comforted; in spring and summer I seek joy.  Maybe these two words mean the same in this instance, I honestly do not know.  But whatever the truth may be I want to remember to indulge in the simple, little comforts and joys and not race through my life, wishing the cold snowy days away in preference to warm sunny ones.  I will confess, I have not been radically thankful over the past two months.  It has been difficult to bring that attitude forth.  I know that in here in Maine I have at least another 4-6 weeks to work on this and if I don’t get it right that’s fine the opportunity will present it self again in about 8 months.

I plan to share some of my earlier writings over the next few weeks.  Please let me know what you think.  I hope that this blog may become a “little comfort” for you.