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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Girl, the Pen and the Resolution ~ A New Year's Story

  Decades ago I accompanied my father to a narrow, dimly-lit shop in New York City. My father was a commercial artist and he was buying a peel-away crayon pencil ~ the kind used to mark-up photographs. I don't remember how old I was, but I already knew that I wanted to be a writer and was amazed to find an entire shop devoted to writing utensils. I was even more amazed to discover (in the way, way back of the wooden-floored store) a glass case holding pens that were worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Hundreds of dollars for a pen?
     Under the watchful eye of the of the shopkeeper, I held my first Mont Blanc, the luxury pen with the star-shaped, snow-white cap. I marveled at the pen's heaviness, the silky smooth flow of ink on paper. Certainly this pen could capture the deepest, purest, most noble sentiments. 
I loved the Mont Blanc, but my choice of writing utensils has always been limited by economics and, not surprisingly, my usual writing implement is the humble pencil. The sound of scratch marks on paper is a reassuring sound, a bold declaration that I've successfully lassoed at least some of my elusive thoughts. I've also grown comfortable with the clicking of the keyboard as it chips away the white space of a blank page. 
  But that was before.
     On Christmas Day, I received my own Mont Blanc. In a detailed flashback, the pen transported me to the rear of a narrow, dimly lit, wooden-floored shop in New York City, to the almost-beginning of a story about a young girl who dreamed of being a writer. There have been some unforeseen plot twists (and more than one unexpected villain) since that early exposition. But holding the Mont Blanc now, holding my own Mont Blanc ~ with the silence barely broken by the whisper of gliding ink ~ has, as stories often do, brought me full circle. 
     The  young girl grew up, but holding the Mont Blanc in her hand now, so many years later, she still marveled at the weight of her words as they slipped through the pen's dark barrel and rose gold band. Her heart was full of noble thoughts like love, hope and gratitude, and the now-grown-up girl felt certain this pen could capture them.  She gripped the Mont Blanc and resolved to one day write something worthy of the pen's white-starred splendor.