I have this box of pens, a type I used to love before gel pens were invented. The kind that live in that in-between space; not quite a marker, not quite a pen. I acquired them when a company I worked for went out of business. I snatched the box of them, knowing that I’d likely never see any benefits for my troubles, and probably on some level motivated by my frustration that what could have been a good job for me went to hell before I could even get anywhere. (If my old boss happens to read this: Phil, I’m the one who swiped the pens. I’m sorry. Also, I’d love to meet you for coffee sometime. I’m freelancing now.)
I now stash them in an old check box in one of my office drawers. Over the years they have dwindled from hundreds to a bit fewer. I’ve taken to using them for my Morning Pages, rather than the gel pens I so love. It’s become a strange ritual act every morning: as I write the crap contained in my head that stands between myself and creative production, I use these pens. As the pens are drained of ink, I also drain the circumstances that screw me over. These are my made of fail pens. By using them up, I drain out the failure from my creative wounds. Maybe I even drain the fail of old workplaces, psychological pressures and that weird period of job-hopping that was so little understood by those around me.
It’s not geometric like ceremonial magic or particularly folksy. It’s a pen, and it’s on paper. The energy all starts flowing from there.