“Where Have You Been?” asked Pen.

By: Jane

Jul 29 2011

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Blogging/writing


Focal Length:3.85mm
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Camera:iPhone 4

“Pssst.” Paper whispered as loudly as she could. “Hey! Pen! C’mere!”

She was whispering because paper and pens are not supposed to talk. She wouldn’t want any nearby humans to think they were going nuts.

Pen quietly rolled across the table. “What’s up? she whispered back.

“Where’s Jane been? We haven’t seen her in weeks!

“Oh, she’s around now and then,” Pen replied, ” but even when she is she’s on the computer typing lesson plans. She’s been away a lot, though. Personally, I think that as much as she loves summer vacation, the lack of structure would eventually make her crazy.”

Paper processed the information silently for a few moments. “Oh no!” she suddenly exclaimed.

“Shhhh,” warned Pen, “you’ll cause all kinds of problems if THEY find out we can talk!”

Paper lowered her voice. “But…she’s written on lots of my sheets that she’s going to retire next year. If she’s this scattered all the time we’ll never see her.”

If Pen had arms she would have patted Paper on the back. (Paper does have a back, you know.)
“You worry too much, Pape. I happen to know that she’s thinking all the time. I can tell every time she picks me up, because all of her thoughts try to run through me at once. If we didn’t see her so seldom these days it would be irritating.”

Paper sighed. (You can actually hear paper sigh sometimes, when a breeze blows or someone turns a page. But not always.)
“What’s she thinking about?” she asked.

Pen paused to think for a moment. “Well, she began, “when she reads the morning paper sometimes it makes her sad or angry. This morning she was reading about all of the fighting and bickering going on in Washington over the debt ceiling. She actually used to BELIEVE that the purpose of the party system was so that the best of all ideas could come from everyone, and be agreed upon. Sometimes she’s such a sucker. But you know what? She has her cynical side as well. She’s starting to think that most people in power are in it for themselves and/or for the power; that they have to be right, have to win, and are very limited in knowing how to put others before themselves.”

Paper nodded. (Did you ever see paper nod? It looks as if it’s folding itself.) “So, who is she agreeing with?”

“At this point, I don’t think she trusts any of ’em. Now and then she mutters something about power corrupting, and I think she means all of them.”

“Well, does she have a solution?”

“Are you kidding?” Pen almost laughed out loud, but caught herself just in time. “We’re talking about JANE; Jane who just wants to play her piano, weed her garden, sit on the beach, read, and write her stupid lesson plans. She doesn’t even know how to clean a closet, much less Washington!”

Paper giggled. “I see your point.”

They were silent for a while. “Still, said Paper, finally, “all of that beach sitting must give her time to think about things she could write.”

“She reads a lot. She could certainly review some books,” mused Pen. “Right now she’s reading ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ by C.S. Lewis. It’s science fiction. Did you even know that C.S. Lewis wrote Sci Fi, Pape? I didn’t. Apparently it’s very different from the Narnia books. I think she’s enjoying it, though. Sometimes I hear her thinking how creative C.S. Lewis was.”

“What’s it about?” asked Paper.

“Some guy named Ransom who gets kidnapped and taken to the planet Malachandra, where he meets all kinds of creatures who haven’t been ruined by the kinds of evil and trouble that besets earthlings. Earthlings live on the silent planet. That’s where the title comes from.”

“Well I think I can figure that out!” snapped Paper. She could become cranky sometimes, because Pen got to do all the good stuff while Paper just had to sit in her shadow, waiting for Pen to do her thing. She didn’t think much about the fact that if anyone ever read Pen’s writing , it would be because she, Paper, had preserved it. She was actually as much like Jane as Pen was, in a different way.

After Paper regained at least some of her good nature, she resumed the conversation. “Anything else she’s reading?” she asked.

Pen took a moment to decide whether she wanted to answer the little crab, and finally replied, “The Blue Bottle Club.” It’s about 4 girls who wrote down their dreams for the future and put them in a blue bottle. They hid it in an attic. 60 years later, when the house was being demolished, a reporter found the bottle and tracked each one of them down to find out if they’d fulfilled their dreams.”

“Now that sounds interesting!” exclaimed Paper.

“Shhhhh!!!” warned Pen again.
“You must remember it. She used us to write some of her favorite quotes.”

“Ohhh yeeaahh,” said Paper. “It’s coming back to me now.”

“Take the risk. Trust. Don’t give your future to the past. Live without regret.”

“The path is before you. Not behind.”

“Our primary purpose in this life is not to do but to become. To grow in Christlikeness, to become more like our Lord. To glorify God with whatever our hands touch.”

“There are all kinds of dreams…there are the dreams we hold in our minds, our plans for the future. And the dreams we cherish in our hearts, the secret dreams we tell no one. But even deeper than these are the dreams that fill our souls, the dreams even we don’t know about. The dreams God gives us as a gift. The dreams we’re aware of give us hope, keep us reaching, provide a goal to strive for. Whether or not they’re ever fulfilled, they serve their purpose. Our conscious dreams may go unfulfilled, but the Lord’s dreams – those deeper ones – are always realized.”

“i remember now,” said Paper. “Who wrote all that?

“Somebody named Penelope Stokes.
Uh oh…here she comes! I hope she hasn’t heard us! I’ll talk to you again soon,” whispered Pen, as she started to roll away.

“Now where did I leave my pen?” said Jane to herself.

“She’s always losing things,” thought Paper. “I think she’s getting old.”

Jane Rivera, July 29,2011. All Rights Reserved.


19 comments on ““Where Have You Been?” asked Pen.”

  1. This was sooo cute! I wish I could have written it with you. Keep it up.

  2. We should, definitely! I’ll email you but first I gotta think of what to say.

  3. Hmmm…I sense a 2nd career as an author after you retire from teaching next year…..this was a very creative blog post…..:)

  4. Chris, that would be a dream come true. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was little.. I’m not real confident about it, though. I know that people work their whole lives to become authors. Time will tell. Thanks for the vote of confidence. :0)

  5. Jane..that has always been my dream too….I’m not confident either…and when I read something like Lord of the Rings or Stephen King’s Dark Tower series or To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies…I think to myself….forget it…..LOL….I’ve been working on this story about a group of plane crash survivors on a deserted island and there are polar bears and smoke monsters…and there’s a doctor..and…wait a minute…oh crap…see all the good ideas have been taken….

  6. You could call it found, maybe. πŸ™‚

  7. I am a “Lostie”. I loved that show! I was thinking, you or he could do a story where Kate ends up with Sawyer. πŸ™‚
    As far as starting a story, that sounds fun. You want to start?

  8. This is awesome! I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for bringing a bit of humor to a hot, dusty day (night now) in Iraq. I read Out of the Silent Planet earlier this year. I started the second one right before I deployed but will need to finish it and #3 when I get back. I’m not usually a sci-fi reader, but made an exception for CS Lewis.

    • Hi Diane! Greetings from PA all the way to Iraq! Stephen lent me all 3 books. I’m not a big science fiction fan either, but wanted to read it for the exact same reason: it’s C.S. Lewis. So far I like it.
      Speaking of when you get back, do you know when that will be, and are you allowed to say?
      So glad to hear from you!

  9. That was fun. thanks. ib

  10. I certainly enjoyed this post Jane – thanks for bringing a smile to me and reminding me of some things I should be concentrating on more fully. πŸ˜‰

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