Old Pencils, Old Paper

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I’m searching the Bugs Bunny mug sitting on my desk, hoping to find a pencil worth using. I have back-ups. A whole bag of them. Many of the back-ups have a story.

I save pencils and paper. Over the years they take on the position of being “old.” I didn’t think much of it until one of the kids would stare in shock at what I was writing with or on. “Mom,” daughter would gasp, “that’s my pencil from 4th grade.” She has a right to be shocked. 4th grade was twelve years ago. This pencil sticks out for her because it’s one of the brightly colored ones that she begged for when we were school shopping that fall. It was several times more expensive than the plainer pencils. Her image seemed impossibly important to her at the time. I never knew back then how much it did mean to her. Thank goodness I spent those extra dollars.

Saving pencils and papers comes from being a writer. They were my first writing tools. As long as I had them, I could go to the place where the words lined up and came out in an order that felt good. A place where I could create.

Change happens. Maybe I’ll surprise one of the kids when they see me with half of a notebook they thought disappeared into the trash so long ago they barely recall, but I did throw out the crayons. (cough) Last year.

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