Monday, May 12, 2014

Past and Present Tense

I’m writing this blog by hand! Okay, well, this is the version typed into my computer after having written it by hand, so you’re losing the spontaneity, but the point is that these words were originally written with a Uniball Vision fine-tipped pen (black ink) in a spiral notebook (wide-ruled).

And it was kind of weird writing in the past tense—as though I’d already written this thing I was writing at the time—but it seemed the thing to do, since I knew that later I’d have to type it anyway, so if I used the present tense while typing up something I’d already written, it would seem disingenuous.

I suppose I could have written this whole thing in the present tense when handwriting it in the notebook originally, and then just scanned in the original pages and posted that version to my blog, but honestly, my handwriting isn’t very legible to begin with, and I happen to be writing this while on an airplane experiencing turbulence, so the likelihood of you being able to make out much of what I wrote would be slim to none. (Although, ironically, while I was writing that last sentence, the turbulence calmed down considerably, so the writing wasn’t that bad.)

And I now realize that with all this self-reflection—and moving back and forth between present and past tenses, as though I were an extra in the film “Memento”—I’ve strayed horribly far from the point I was trying to make in the very first sentence of this blog. I’m writing this by hand!

I have my laptop with me, but the battery is running low after playing three games of Scrabble in which I was humiliated by the computer; so I decided to power down and put away the laptop so I didn’t have to look at his smug little screen anymore.

Now I’ve whipped out the notebook and am writing hand to paper. I’m making a big deal about this, because these days, who writes this way anymore? Seriously, I’m having a hard time remembering the last time I sat down and wrote by hand for as long as I’ve been doing since I started writing this entry. And that’s probably another reason that my handwriting is so lousy. I’m out of practice. And I bet you are too. And you. And you. And especially you.

Writing by hand is a lost art, like metallurgy and phrenology. Computers may be convenient and efficient, but if by using them we sacrifice our penmanship, are we not eroding our very humanity? Give a man a pen and he can write for a day; teach a man to pen and he can write for a lifetime. Okay, I’ll admit I’m going off the rails a bit here, but I’ve been in the air for the past three hours and I’m starting to go a little stir crazy.

Anyway the point is/was…um…not really sure anymore. I’m fairly certain there was a point at one time, but I think I’ve become so distracted by the process of writing by hand that whatever the point was is lost somewhere in the ink.

And if you’ve read this far, I apologize. Nobody should be subjected to the hopeless ramblings of a man using a tool as antiquated as a pen. I assure you that my next blog entry will be written on a computer. (I mean, the original blog will be written on a computer. Obviously this blog was written—in the sense of typed—on a computer, but that was only after this blog was first written—in the sense of created—with pen and paper. But I think you got all that.)

I’ll be quiet now.