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The Story Of The Pencil

Thursday, 5 January 2012

I came across an inspirational short story taken from Paulo Coelho’s book on short stories and reflections ‘Like the Flowing River

I love working with pencil; 
even without words, or perhaps, especially without words...

The Story of The Pencil....

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point, he asked:

“Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?”

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
“I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.”

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
“But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!”

no... there's nothing 'normal' about the pencil as 
textures & patterns emerge... flowing from it's tip...

“That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on to them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.

"First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.

“Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.

a different challenge on black paper,
but see what depths can be reached... 

“Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.

“Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.

"Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: It always leaves a mark. In just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action.”

and what results can be achieved...
if you keep sharp 
& pay attention to the spaces as well as what is already there
& allow the marks you make to unfold...


jgr 5 January 2012 at 18:47  

This is beautiful! Very insightful words of wisdom.

Rose 5 January 2012 at 21:23  

I love Paulo's work... and I love yours too!

Fiona Dempster 6 January 2012 at 10:58  

This was just a beautiful way to start the day Suzi (i'm now commenting in the evening...). A lovely story with lots of little reminders of how to be in the world; but also such beautiful pencil lettering. Stunning!

Paula 1 February 2012 at 12:56  

I love his work! Girl, you are not often around. Happy to realize you are still around and kicking! I do hope you are doing well. Thanks for your kind words - they made me all teary.Someone uploaded a blogpost of mine to CNN. If you care to leave your comment and click the green button, that would be helpful not only to me, but to other women as well!
Thank you

Laura 12 February 2012 at 22:09  

Oh how beautiful...I LOVE this story:-)

Barry 12 April 2012 at 11:04  

S-the layering of letters and the impermanence of the pencil add mystery and fragility to the work. And I have learnt from F that the marks do not have to have ordinary words to communicate meaning and emotion. Go well and create well. B

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