The Man With The Sharpest Lead (Mind) Wins!
From pre-school and elementary school, with finger paint and crayons, grade school and middle school, from the number two pencil, to high school with ink pens, writing utensils have always been an avenue to freely communicate and express our thoughts. For every era and level there is a tool. From cavemen etching on stone walls, to our modern day iPads, there has always been a way to transport thought to reality.
At first glance, it looks like the tool given equaled the maturity level of the hand that held it. From the crayon, the pencil, the permanent ink pen, to the virtual painting, the right tool in the right hand seems very important. Evidently, someone thought this out.
Children make more mistakes and expression is preferred over precision therefore a certain tool is prescribed. Finger paint and shapes, washable ink, and non toxic paint, are used whereby it seems the higher the level the more toxic the ink. I’ve even heard of some people signing their name blood on the dotted line. This has to be as permanent of an ink that you can get.
As a kid, I don’t remember sticking my self with a crayon, but I do remember the great smell of them. I do remember accidentally sticking myself in the hand and hip with a sharpened number two pencil. With the lead buried deep in my skin, we all wondered if we would die from lead poisoning. We were all guilty of running or wrestling with them forgotten in our pockets. I remember the infamous ball point pen which burst in pants, bags, and shirt pockets. We always found out by reaching our hand into these places, only to come out with a blue fingers and clothing damaged forever by an ink spot. Who can forget the ink pen that turned into an automatic tie dye session in the clothes dryer. It peppered and spotted the entire load of clothes. Momma was never happy about this. Hopefully your good stuff was not in this load. I was trying to make the point that we were give writing utensil that matched our maturity level and expectation. Perfectly sharpened pencils and evenly flowing ball point pens were our desire, even if perfectly penning the wrong answers caused us a failing grade. I will never forget the smile of satisfaction on the face of every kid’s face as they left the pencil sharpener with a perfectly sharpened number two. You were the man based upon the sharpness of your pencil lead. We would compare with others to make sure we held the class crown. I also remember the failed attempt to sharpen a nub of a pencil by holding it by the eraser with your fingertips. It was a failed attempt and sadly resulted in a unserviceable pencil sharpener clogged with a baby nub. The walk of shame was taken by the leadless man without even a nub.
We didn’t know it but we were equipped the sharpest lethal weapon known to man, a sharpened number two pencil. The same pencil that was used to number my paper from one to ten for the weekly spelling test, could also be used to spear fish in the river or maim a wild boar for the evening meal in a jungle tribe. Lucky we didn’t know it. No wonder we didn’t have guns back then, we could have fought territorial tribal wars with sharpened pencils and science books as shields.
I have no clue how I got this far off into pencils.
One thing I did notice that every now and then, the ink pen would cease writing. What we would do was light the tip of the pen with a lighter to make the ink flow. Somehow ink flows free with heat. My pens flows better by inspiration. There have been many writers who claim that there are times when their pen has pointed at the place of opportunity and expectation, but no ink poured out. No inspiration, no ink, no masterpiece, no think.
The same pen that plotted the assassination of some men, has also saved the life of a nation. It just depends on whose hand the pen resides. Someone shouted, “There is power in the pen!” I believe it’s true.
The next time you pick up a writing utensil, please remember that the power is in the pen, but inspired thought comes from the heart and mind. This is what makes the ink actually flow!!