Pencil sharpeners – Something that used to be in every kid’s schoolbag, pencil case, in the junk drawer, in the bottom of your bag… Now, it’s a struggle to find one. So when I found one in the tool shed I was excited. I have a jar of pens that don’t work and pencils with no points waiting for such an opportunity.
The jar is on the bench near a bin of off cuts of wood, old hinges and other treasures waiting for inspiration to come. The pencils have been collected over many years from many of the moments of meaning in my life – yellow HB pencils with terra cotta coloured erasers from my years as a teacher; black and red striped drafting pencils from University; blue pencils with soft lead worn down to nibs from hours of sketching; pencils with teeth marks from use building a deck and cutting timber.
After taking a moment to smile to myself and reminisce, I set to sharpening the pencils in the jar. The crank stuck. After a bit of detective work I found that the shavings tray was jam packed. When I went to empty it I found that I couldn’t throw out what could very well be years of pencil shavings representing numerous projects.
From what we can tell, our farm was refurbished over a period of 17 years by a man named George. His handiwork is all across the farm from tin fences, painting and restoring outbuildings that had fallen into disrepair. I couldn’t bring myself to throw out the remainders of all of that creativity. So I kept them.
I hope that I can add a second jar of shavings next to it with the evidence of all of my creative energies.