Tonight has also been a day for reflection. Mainly due to procrastination. So I decided to go through the contents of a wooden chest and throw out stuff I don’t need or want any more. I do this fairly regularly, although not regularly enough that I buy shit I don’t need in the first place. Some of the things today were my old fountain pens from secondary school. I kept all the ones I used to use and the ink cartridges. Quite when I thought I would use a fountain pen after school I don’t know, but remember back then computers were still in their infancy and smart phones were a thing of futuristic sci-fi films and sorcery. So it was fully OK that I thought I’d probably have a need for one. This does not excuse the 15 or so years after that where I became a Biro convert and ink became a hassle the first world did not have to put up with. I’ve seen these pens a number of times since then, but always kept them, mainly for sentimental reasons.
Just by looking at the Dennis the Menace ink pen brings back memories of school. Like the snapped off pen lid thing was because I fiddled with it in class (and almost all my current Biro’s do not have the lid thing for the same reason. Fiddler.). Dennis’s face is worn away at the top because I used to chew the lid when pondering how to answer stuff, or when deciding what to write. I can remember so clearly now, head tilted, faraway look in my eyes, dredging information from the back of my brain. I remember how I loved the scratchy sound the nib made against the paper, and how certain exercise books were much nicer than others to write in. It felt so special, such a luxury, to have an ink pen. I remember winning a competition (story comp, I think) and the prize was a calligraphy pen and paper. Oh and what glorious paper! Thick, posh paper, so luxurious and elegant I daren’t write on it, and so it stayed blank and pristine for years. One of the things I used to love to get as a child is writing sets. Matching paper and envelopes, maybe notelets. No purpose to them, I didn’t have anyone to write to, I just wrote. Random shit most probably, but hey, not a lot has changed. The main thing is it gives me pleasure.
No wonder I found it hard to throw out some of these things! This is not just a Dennis the Menace pen; this is the trigger-er of memories, the reminder of joy, happiness and of innocence and wonder and creativity.
Damn, writing this is making me half want to go and fish it out of the bin and put it safely back in the box it’s called it’s home for years. But no. In the bin it will stay. I don’t need it any more. It doesn’t work any more and I can’t keep everything that triggers a memory. It’s time for it to go. But with a lesson learnt. Keep the ones that do work (and there are still 2 ink pens I’ve kept) and use them. Write, even if it’s made up bollocks. I always write for myself anyway so what does it matter?
I’ve spent a bit of time over the last few months looking back more than I’d like. Reminiscing. It’s nice to, but there has to be the point of not doing so or you’ll drive yourself crazy. It’s not even like I’m looking back wistfully, it’s just general thinking about stuff I’ve done. Live in the moment, every internet meme and my own tattoo shout to me. I try to, but sometimes it’s hard. Right now I either look back or spend too much time thinking about the future, to what might come, and kind of wishing it would hurry up. Which means not enough time living in the present. I know why. It’s because I’m not particularly enjoying parts of the present right now and that’s not me; if I’m not happy, then I’ll change things. But I feel in limbo, in some blank, endless void with nothing in it apart from future plans and the ‘sensible choice’.
Fear not though! I’m not about to stagnate. I’m putting some plans and ideas into practice to keep me busy and learn me some new skills. I might not know exactly where I’m heading yet, but I’m going there with some new shit to play with.