Of Course I Have a Pen


INSPIRATION: something that gives someone an idea about what to do or create  

“Do you have a pen?” you asked across the board room table.

Of course I have a pen.

Not just to jot down the list of tasks I expect this meeting to produce, but because pens are essential.

Inspiration is a fickle mistress with an erratic schedule.  She squeezes in visits at the bus stop, while the soup simmers, and – yes – even in board rooms during discussions of urgent business and looming deadlines.

I’ve been caught without a pen before and watched her sashay away leaving the scent of an idea, the whisper of a well-crafted turn of phrase.

I have scrambled to find a pen before the edges of the idea blur or the word that transformed the sentence from pedestrian to poetic slips away.    I’ve chanted a string of syllables on an endless loop trying to keep them alive from the coffee shop home only to lose them during the frantic dig through my purse for keys to unlock the door that separates me from pen and paper.

I’ve cursed my own stupidity.  I’ve mourned the loss of something beautiful gone before its time.  I’ve abandoned all pride and begged for one more whisper.   I’ve lived with the knowledge that my work was inferior because of my lack of preparedness.

So, yes, I have a pen.

I just used it to write “fickle mistress” in the margins of my agenda.  Because somewhere between the request for a summary memo and the brainstorming session about outstanding research tasks, I knew I would write this post.


10 thoughts on “Of Course I Have a Pen

  1. I LOVED this because you put words to something I feel every day, but have never really articulated before… not even in my mind. I don’t go anywhere without a pen. I’d feel vulnerable, useless, exposed. A pen gives me something to do if I’m bored. It preserves those fleeting thoughts, as you said. It’s just integral to life as I know it, just as I won’t go anywhere without a book.

  2. Do you get those moments of middle-of-the-night inspiration (from the fickle mistress – love that phrase!) and then you convince yourself in half-sleep that you’ve memorized the phrase and idea and will ABSOLUTELY remember it in the morning so you don’t need to get out of the warm bed to write it down? Yeah. Those fail me every time. Just get a pen. Great reminder.

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