I enjoy writing. It may not always be as clear as it could be but for me, it organizes thoughts and expresses in a clearer way than I can ever hope to do in a conversation. My grammar, while not horrible, leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes, my thoughts need to be clarified. But I so enjoy the process, whether typing the words into a computer or putting pen or pencil to paper. I enjoy taking thoughts and putting them into words and watching the words take shape and form, whether it is on the screen or a sheet of paper. Seeing thoughts emerge is a joy. I must say though that I do particularly prefer writing, real writing with an actual writing instrument on paper, fingers wrapped around pen or pencil, the mark gliding out onto the paper in a space where nothing existed before. Even in that most basic and elemental image there is a moment of creation taking place. Where there was nothing, something now exists. It almost sounds God-like.
I also treasure particular writing instruments. I once owned a Cross ball point pen for so many years and used it so much that the polished chrome had completely worn off the barrel where the thumb and forefinger held it while creating words. The etching in the chrome had worn off and the barrel was smooth brass. It had been a gift. It had my initials engraved on the top half. It never left my sight. Then one day it was gone. I grieved its loss, silly as it sounds, for it had been part of me for a long time.
Recently, and I cannot explain why, I have gone through a spate of missing writing instruments. Just the other day I lost a polished chrome mechanical pencil purchased seven years ago, I had used nearly every day since. It is gone, though I always hold out hope for those things lost to one day come back to me. I lost a black and chrome, large barreled, Cross ball point two weeks ago which mysteriously appeared under the seat of Peggy’s car over the weekend. I don’t even remember being in her car over the last couple of weeks.
Most significantly though, I lost my chrome plated Cross fountain pen. I have, or had, three fountain pens. One is made of Red Oak and is hand made. One is a Waterman Classic that Peggy gave me not long after we were married, Waterman is her maiden name. But this is a Chrome Plated Cross Fountain Pen and it was the best one I had. It would write first time every time. It wrote a smooth fine line that had a lovely elegant feel to it. I purchased it at a pen store in downtown Webster Groves, Missouri and I have had it for nearly fifteen years. Its loss is huge in my mind. It was also at least a month ago and I still keep an eye peeled thinking that it has to show up, somehow, somewhere it is lying someplace either in my home or study, waiting to be picked up. When it is, I am certain it will still write.
I obsess over losses, pens or people. It is hard to let go, but the comfort of the community that is around us continues to give strength and compassion, love and care, and ultimately meaning to what we do and who we are. Those who have added to our lives in significant ways have added to our lives, and we are, all of us, better for the relationships we have had. Enjoy those you are with, now and always.