i chose this titillating title to ask a very important question:
do you ever feel…
you probably should have seen that coming. (that’s what she said – zing.)
i didn’t have a pen in my pocket.
i’m beyond accustomed to having a pen in my pocket at all times. it doesn’t matter where i’m going or what i’m doing, i keep a pen in my pocket.
but then, that one day out of a million, when i don’t have one on me, i suddenly feel naked. powerless. emasculated. unpenulated.
ever since i’ve entered the magically narcissistic world of smart phone-owning, this has also been true if i realize that i don’t have my phone in my front right pocket. i just feel naked suddenly.
regardless of your beliefs, i think we can all learn something from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. there they are, chillin’, happy – snake comes along – “hey, eat this fruit” – “no, we’re not supposed to” – “but it’ll be really cool if you do” – “yeah, okay” – *chomp* – “holy shit! we’re naked! what in the world are we doing?! quick, make some coverings out of those prickly leaves over there, that’ll work.”
when they weren’t doing what they were supposed to do, when they became utterly powerless, that is when Adam and Eve realize they are naked.
so it is with my pen in my pocket. without it, i feel out of control, lost even. as a writer, especially, it feels as though i’ve lost my very purpose when i don’t have a pen on me. and wasn’t that the case with Adam and Eve? didn’t they lose their purpose? isn’t this reflected in the lost-ness of humanity that we writers try to capture in some form or fashion?
maybe i’m reading too much into it, but i believe there is a lot of truth there. life is filled with people and things that, if we are separated from them, we feel naked, without purpose, lost.
and i realize more and more the older i get, it’s better for those “things” we feel lost without to be the people we love and care about – not things.
so this past week, i’ve purposefully tried to keep a pen out of my pocket, forcing myself to feel naked to remember that my identity and meaning should not be built upon that. i love writing, but writing is for life, not the other way around. it’s good to be reminded of that – and strangely enough, remembering this somehow makes writing more authentic – maybe even better.