I like to think of myself as a spiritual person. With a long road ahead. In fact, one of the reasons I want to write a blog is to ponder the ineffable. Access my gifts. Frolic with the angels.
But I find myself writing this very first blog about a stolen pen. Okay that may be a bit harsh. But, in fact, it’s my favorite pen and its acquisition haunts me in a little, niggling way. I’m coming clean. So here goes. The pen was in the post office, and so was I. It wasn’t one of those pens attached to a chain. Nor one of the pens with giant fake flowers taped to it, the way they do nowadays at the post offices around here, to ensure no one pilfers.
This pen is not government issue. It was lying casually on the counter one day when I had to fill out an address label and my usually pen-full purse was penless. So this pen was lying there, unappreciated, unused, unclaimed.
It seems to be a give-away pen from a somewhat local business—a tack shop one town away. But what a give-away! I mean this pen is nice. It glides across the page effortlessly and creates no finger-exhaustion. If the pen had not been so very pleasant to write with, so enticingly smooth and luscious, it would not have occurred to me to slip it into the pocket of my purse, which at the time was a wasteland containing little more than a wallet, a make-up bag, a few pairs of glasses, lip balm, a thousand business cards from random people, and lots of other things with which one cannot write.
This happened months ago, but I admit I feel pretty guilty and that feeling is messing with my enjoyment of the pen. It’s a conundrum. I thought about going back to the post office and leaving another pen there, on the counter. Or maybe this pen, and just saying goodbye to it. Even though I know someone else will snatch up the beauteous thing.
What is the lesson here? I want to manifest what is good and fulfilling in my life and I take pens out of post offices? My heart struggles with its own darkness on a daily basis and this pen sits in the shadows. I am asked for wisdom by friends, my children, about things both ponderous and not, and I am a pen pilferer.
Ethical relativity is a funny thing. I mean, comparing my crime to the crimes of others is pointless. Obviously I am not a serial killer or an embezzler. On the other hand, I could maybe justify the act of pilfering (relatively speaking) if it were a loaf of bread and my family of 6 had no hope of dinner. But a pen?
How would you feel if this pen had inspired many journal writing episodes? Writing that was of great value to the process of healing after emotional trauma, deep grief, heartbreak or loss? Would that make a difference? No. There are other implements in the pencil box, you’d say. And you’d be right.
It’s entirely possible that someone entered the post office that day unable to mail a package because of the lack of available writing implements.
The pen sits beside me now virtually begging me to close my computer, pick it up, and see where it might take me. I think this pen was meant to find its way to me. I believe that the universe has a plan for me. For me and the pen. And that things happen for a reason.
I actually do think that, at least most of the time, and I also believe that guilt is only useful when it actually prevents harm to self or others. I have concluded—intellectually—that since this pen was created and purchased to be given away, to advertise the local tack shop, and since it does me a world of good, and since by possessing this pen I harm no one, the karmic balance is intact. But I might just be kidding myself.
I dedicate this, my first blog, to the delightful pen, so easy to hold, so comfortable to write with. Though I will not be blogging with the pen, it holds a place in my mind. A place called “writing.” I honor it here.