The Author, his Pen, and a Book

He sits at an ancient table, so ancient the price tag is still stuck to one of the legs. His pen is light and feels like it is made of glass, it is plastic. Strange cryptic letters adorn the pen’s end giving it an identity. The letters “BIC” can be made out. The makers must be proud; it is a good pen to use.

The Author sits and frowns at nothing. Before him sits a giant book that dwarfs even the gigantic desk he sits at. At first glance the book appears to be made of stone, so solid is its nature. As the observer looks closer he notices that the book is indeed real and the pages are more numerous than he once thought. Within must be held an epic tale or the longest regurgitation of frivolity ever written.

Resting in a neat line at the edge of the desk are glass jars of various sizes. They are indistinctive, save for the fact that each seems to hold something different inside. The mysterious tools of this Author’s trade intrigue the observer. He sits to watch.

The book is open and a new page is lying in wait for the adventure to come. The Author picks up and removes the top to the first jar. He looks inside and sees fire swirling with a life of its own. The heat is intense, as if someone has bottled hell and put it into a jar. He dips his pen into the jar and begins his story in fire. He uses it to burn away the inhibitions of his readers, to clear away the preconceived notions that any might have.

He replaces the jar of fire and takes up the next jar, a jar holding crystal clear liquid. He tastes it like a chef before he dips his pen in and begins to water the ideas that are to come. Seeds are not necessary for this type of gardening, his words are the seeds and the plants that spring forth are the ideas that are being given birth. It is a beautiful occurrence that causes even The Author to smile. It is a visual reward for his effort.

The third jar to be withdrawn holds a red liquid the color of blood. It is the color of blood because it is the author’s blood, it is his life. He pours it onto the sheet and uses his pen as a brush, pushing the words into the right places to form the picture that he desires. The connection here is real, the image is himself, and the vision is unmade as of yet. Although it can be a painful process, it is the most fulfilling.

The fourth jar is death. The Author ignores Korean superstition, but has placed this label as such because it reminds him that all ideas die. They can be brought back to life, but there is an expiration date on all ideas. He does not allow them to wait for the fourth jar holds an ink of darkness. Although it is solidified in its nature, it still disappears with time. It fades as pain fades, and pain fades as fast as an author wishes it.

The Author stops at the fourth jar. There are many more, but every written piece is not the same and does not require all the ingredients of life. Sometimes it is hard to remember that with happiness does not always come death, with joy does not always come despair, and with love does not always come heartache. These are all possibilities, but the book is full of every such possibility. It gives the writer something to create, for while he writes the book, the book in turn writes him.

-OM

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