“What do you do?”
This is a question for which I have no answer. I get asked this often, and it is the prerennial american question, we are defined by what we do. We are our jobs. I don’t have an answer because I don’t get my identity from my job description, I don’t see the connection between what a person does to earn a living and their self description. If one is to answer the question truthfully it can’t just be the description of your day-job, since that is only a small fraction of your duties in life, but that is what the questioner is asking, ‘what is your day job?’
Why does it matter if I scrub floors in a hotel, or meet with investors, or drive a truck? Perhaps your janitor is also an amateur electronics engineer, or the professional negotiator is an aspring actor, or the truck driver writes mystery novels…Of what use is the question: ” What do you do?”
I do everything.
Moleskines are now cliche objects of perceived creativity. They have a cult following and are everywhere. You can’t go into a coffee shop without finding someone sitting with macbook on one side, and a Moleskine open beside it.
My first Moleskine was back in 2004 or 2005, I found it by stumbling on a conversation thread on a Daytimer forum. I used to use Daytimer planners religiously, but they were more for job scheduling and not for creativity. I didn’t really journal or keep any sort of permanent notes, I wrote on legal pads and in spiral bound notebooks. The concept of using a permanent notebook for archival journaling was not in my mindset.
I did write a lot at the time, but it was exclusively on the computer and was fiction writing only.
Now I use Moleskines everyday. They have become constant companions to me and I reply on having them near to capture my day and whatever scraps of poetry I come up with.
During the 8 or 9 years I have been using Moleksines they have become very popular, and now you see them everywhere. I remember when they were mostly unknown, and actually bound in Italy, seems like they have lost out for becoming popular.
I miss the days before they were iconic and everywhere.
My first computer was an ATARI 1200XL
I was in seventh heaven! I can still remember the smell of the plastic when I opened the box,
(it was used, but still in the box) and I remember the sound that 5-1/4″ floppy would make when it was seeking.
I had an INDUS GT drive (which was pretty fancy for its day) and I had an ATARI tape drive as well. The tapes were fun, you were supposed to use ‘real data tapes’ because they were of higher quality, and would retain the data better, but I never could afford them: so I just used erased music tapes. (which never lasted very long)
I would spend many hours up at night laboriously typing BASIC commands, and learning how to write programs myself. I had a few books, and some old Atari magazines to go on, but a lot of what I learned was by experiment.j
I would craft this work of art, and then when the last line was done, I would pause a second, and then type: RUN, and press the return key……………..
That moment of expectation, and the (often unpredictable) results is an aspect of computing that I miss. Now I am grounded in expectation of what a computer ‘should’ do. I don’t modify my experience; I don’t create new programs.
I do use the computer to create, and to code, but on another level; in a more sanitized operating world. Sometimes I miss that wonder and amazement from executing my program just to see what it would do.
Now in the midst of dreary winter, while the hills wear their white mantles, I sense a withering of will, and a drying up of muscle. When buds burst into leaves, I also break out in motion, powering against the rusted pedals, to rush down that path of leaves; rustling. .
Wintry winds tear at my coat, seek to reach my guarded soul, And follow me into my bungalow to snuff out my little flame. When Summer, oh summer, comes, I shall ride the streets of sun, catch the warm rays upon my back, spreading a glow through my winter shrunken frame.
That number is the value I place on creativity. Or a hinting at the value I give to my writing. That is the cost of the pen case, and pens I carry everyday.
I use these pens like tools, they are the hammer and saw of my mind, the wrench that I use to fasten my mental state to the parchment of my life. Each of these tools has a function different than the others, and like a carpenter; I have a lifetime of choosing the tools that fit my work best…
There are 6 pens in my pen roll.
From right to left; they are:
Lamy Safari Yellow Fountain Pen, with EF Nib. (I have black ink in it. This pen is for dark thoughts, and deep dreams)
Kuretake No. 40 Sable Hair Brush-Pen. (Black Ink here as well, this is for expressive moments, and light flourishes)
Kuretake Letter Pen (This is by far my favorite pen, I use it for letter writing, for recording my thoughts. the tip is fine, and lets me move as freely as my thoughts. I keep Sepia Ink in this one.
Lamy Al-Star Graphite ( I have a blue-black ink in it, and have the 1.1mm Calligraphy nib on it. I use this pen for writing poetry, and for long thought out quotes. There is something about the calligraphy nib that drives me to write well, and poignant. I don’t doodle with this pen.)
Pentel Tradio Stylo with Blue Refill (This is a pen that lets me draw, scribble, and jot. A Pen for light moods, and free thoughts)
Kuretake Water Brush (This is not a pen in the true sense, but I use this in conjunction with my Winsor & Newton Bijou Box to full the world with rainbow colors).
I got all these pens from Jetpens.