( I wrote this in response to a prompt on another site: What do you have a hard time giving up?)
Pens. Not pencils, mind you. I don't much care about them though I suppose I should. and as a teacher I am uncomfortable with this predilection to keep my ink to myself and wait for the perfect chance to whip out that dusky green archival nib and make....a grocery list, perhaps, or a note to myself to get my car oil changed. I tend to hoard my pens, particularly ones with very fine narrow points. I don't like a blunt ballpoint. they are good for almost nothing except filling out official forms where you need multiple copies and you don't want there to be only dusty smudges where information should be. I like pens in dark deep colors like burgundy and forest green and purple. I keep basic blue and black ballpoints on hand for those students who, freakishly, do not have pens with which to write their essays or warm-ups. I can't imagine being in that situation. I like to travel light but there is always a small family of pens congregating in my bag, as if there were suddenly going to be some sort of apocalyptic event that would make pens a scarcity. Have I thought about the psychological implications of all this? sure. I think it means that should that creative epiphany come along, that light bulb moment that will set me to writing furiously no matter where I am, I want to be prepared to approach it with the perfect instrument for what it has to say. It might take me a little while to figure it out, but that's all right. The words have already learned patience, and I know they can wait.