There’s something curious about having a pencil in your hands. You feel both power and apprehension regarding that power. A pencil can do one hundred million things, from building a boat to wrecking a bed. A pencil is a weapon of creation and destruction. In the right hands, it can do anything.

Think about the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, from Doctor Who: Rose might be able to fiddle around with it, but if you want anything done you have to hand it over to the Doctor. Pencils are like that, except for they have the added advantage of doing wood.

The thing that makes a pencil special isn’t its physical status, but rather its potential energy. There are entire worlds inside a pencil ready to be made. If you pick one up, you can even feel them beckoning to you. The ideas are already there, waiting to spring out like a coiled viper. The arts of both drawing and writing, therefore, are not acts of creation, but of discovery. You are discovering a potential event or sequence of events and you are actualizing them, sketching them out of the pencil where they already existed alongside every other potential event or sequence of events fathomable.

Ideas will continue as long as pencils exist. Even if human society devolves and we find ourselves all watching Honey Boo-Boo and throwing dung at each other, there is still hope and long as there is a pencil in a child’s hands. In the future, I imagine not a golden revolution, but rather a leaden one.

~~La Stranezza


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