Before we left for Sanibel I said I was looking forward to being warm, reading and writing with a pen. I brought a fresh Moleskine and my fountain pen with me, but I wasn’t so sure there would be the time or the inclination to pen write.
I love writing with a pen though. I love the smoothness of it, that tactile hand/eye thing it requires, the ease of it. I feel more rooted when I write than when I type. And even though my handwriting has devolved into this horrible cat scratch where I slur my letters almost beyond legibility, cursive is still my native tongue.
I think more clearly when I write with a pen. I dream in longhand, not in keyboard. I have ink in my blood, not key strokes.
I can tell instantly what my mood was when I penned something. I can tell by the sheer lexigraphical look of a page if I was hot on the trail of an idea, or slowly hammering one out.
I can tell if my thinking was slow and deliberate that day, or riffing all over the place just by looking at my handwriting.
I so want to love the keyboard, though. It makes life infinitely editable, legible, save-able and archivable. But for me, the keyboard will always remain my “second language.” I will never be as fluent typing as I am writing in cursive.
On vacation I did write with my fountain pen. And today I took up with it again. I scribbled, cat-scratched, mind-slawed, and word-vomited myself to a more discursive place and found a distinctive tone.
“Just go,” I told myself. “Write. Write like an artist paints. Find a new door into this closed project. Find the right color. Write your way in.”