Neck-Deep in Notecards


Here’s the deal. Sometimes, you gotta unplug, you gotta get analog. For me, it’s the paper, the pen, the process.

There used to be more doodling, likely a way to get rid of nervous energy, a way to avoid the act of creation, the way to postpone the narrowing of choice by chance from multitudinous masses to a singular thing (but I’ve found my way a bit around that, over the years).

Now, there is the stacks of notecards. The ability to leap from thing to thing and reorder them is mighty. There are digital analogs to them, which I used to use more, but now often use less. I like detaching from the machine and at least have the illusion of choice. With no computer crutch, I must think for myself, though my phone never leaves me alone, simply sitting to the side, a miniature computer in disguise, the true home computer no one ever thought they wanted (but cannot live/leave without).

There are scribbles in the notebooks with a precise stroke of blank ink. I am particular about my pens. If they are too fancy, I think too much about the weight of the words, and the gravity of the ink pulls me down. I prefer a pen that I can lose without weeping, though those are the ones which never leave my range. They are scattered about the hot-spots of the house: the dining room table, the end of the couch. Any nook and cranny I happen to frequent has a smattering of notebooks and a collection of cards, some blank, some with names and phrases to stimulate the process, to simulate reality, to focus my attentions upon.

Nuts and bolts time. The larger lines have been laid. The finer details are put in place as I move from thing to thing to thing and back again, filling in more each time, like a line printer out of time. Currently, I favor a Sharpie pen with a fine point. I used to prefer Pilot pens, but they changed something in their process; the plastic is cheaper and the point cannot be trusted. I gave the pens every opportunity, but when the ink from multiple batches escaped on various occasions, I could no longer make due with more ink upon my fingers than the page. So it goes. Just as cave men made marks upon cave walls long ago, it does your soul good to make your mark upon the physical realm from time to time.

Think wisely. Write well.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu.


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