Sunday, 17 March 2013

the gift

A close friend makes me the gift of an idea, luminous in its simplicity, an idea that involves the pencils with which drawings are made, yet does not involve touching pencil to paper.

She proposes that I inscribe, or have inscribed into the shafts of new pencils, texts or words of my own, thus replacing the names of colours, the mark of the manufacturer, number and grade with which pencils are printed before being offered for sale. The idea seems to me to be about drawing, and also about text; it is literary, and yet very much concerned with the act of drawing. Why could I have not thought of it myself?

Anxiously, I contact my friend to ask her permission to use the idea; it is, after all, hers and not mine. I find that the idea has been freely given to me, to use, or not, as I will.

I am immediately cast into a grateful quandry. Which pencils could I use? How would I suggest the idea to a manufacturer, whose pencils would be inscribed? What text should I use? Should I use the names of colours, perhaps those of different greys, which I have researched, and of which I have already made a list, or should the texts be more emotive, more personal, so that the collection of pencils thus inscribed becomes as a journal, perhaps a journal of drawing? I find myself much more inclined to consider the latter.

I feel a flutter of tremulous excitement at the idea , a kind of visceral reaction. It is difficult to refrain from jumping up and down with amazed pleasure, as a child does and as I may well have done when a little girl.

Perhaps this gift is, or could be, the guiding light by which I may find the "straight foreward pathway", and so begin my journey to the brink of the "forest dark". I am all gratitude.

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