Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Nostalgia of Ink and Paper

 I grew up loving the tactile feel of stationary. Journaling stationary, postcards, greeting cards, notebooks and more, all empty, awaiting the perfect moment when a person's imagination turns to a creation. What once was a private concept born of a mind's eye becomes a tangible expression of thought to share, communicate with others. All the empty pages ready to soak up the contents of one's mind.

It's a writer's curse and blessing to see such potential of these pages. The smell and feel of new, unused pages bound by spines and spirals feels fresh, elegant  but intimidating. The first words set a tone. They must match the energy this empty book deserves. Will the first scribbles miss the mark? What if they land flatly on the paper, forever staining it with subpar markings? Oh, the anxiety of new beginnings!

I still have quite a modest collection of stationary. I find that I utilize them in fewer and fewer creative ways and much more as daily doldrum type tasks. To do and shopping lists tend to fill the pages where my inner most thoughts used to go.

As I grew up, the bound pages turned to blank, stark white single papers twisted firmly into a typewriter. The keys were concave and slick. The letters struck the paper with force, imprinting it with neat, ink letters. Tick, click, tick, ring. It was also tactile , but in a different way.

That way of filling pages soon turned digital from there. The keyboard still made a clicking noise, but more subdued. The paper would be a blinking curser on a screen until I filled it with letters, no paper to be seen unless I decided to print my creation.

Now, the keyboard is a screen and there is no clicking to be heard. I miss the feeling of taking pen to paper, even if I do appreciate the ease and efficiency of digital writing. There was always a quiet beauty to stacks of filled journals or a recipe box of small note cards neatly written, ready to be flipped through.