Thursday, May 13, 2010

My hand itches

Migraines.  The mother of all headaches.  I've had them many times.  Many many times. In fact, I have one now.  When I try to write about a migraine in my journal, my handwriting veers all over the line, practically drips with pain.  Here, with the magic of a computer screen and perfect font, a migraine seems far more benign.  Like something a single aspirin might take care of.  Or just a cool compress against the temple.  That's the problem with the printed page.  One must squint to find the emotion--the passion--behind the words.  A writer must work harder to convey what their pen alone could do in earlier generations.

Having life so much easier isn't always better.  Sometimes I crave to hold a pen in my fingers and feel the paper beneath my hand when I have to write.  And yes, I mean need.  My fingers and hand have so many times written things I didn't even know I was thinking.  I watch in amazement as it appears on the paper.  This is less true on a computer screen.  Less true where a more recent skill is employed, and so often the delete key must also be used.  I'm not a slow typist, but it's not the same.  And I miss, I really miss the writing that can pour out through the end of a pen.

And I like the feel of a book in my hands, the way it feels to turn pages, actual pages, the way books look sitting on shelves, even the way new books smell.  Well, and the way old books smell too, unless they were owned by smokers, then I hate them.  I realize all these new gadgets like Kindle and Ipad and whatever else is on the horizon are very enticing to a whole lot of folks who love books, but more importantly, to people who might never have picked up actual paper books before.  I admire these instruments as the tools they can be to a plethora of readers.  But not to me.  No, not to me.

And yes, I realize that makes me out-dated in this world, old-fashioned, whatever you kids are calling it these days, but that's the truth.  As much as I use this computer for all kinds of things, as much as I like writing this blog, it will never--ever--take the place of writing with pen and paper. 

That's what I'm thinking about as I'm sitting here with this massive headache.  Yet here I am, writing this post, rather than writing in my journal. Even though my hand fairly itches to hold a pen. And what that tells me is that I'm committed to my readers, whoever you are.

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