Monday, October 20, 2008

Graphite vs Ink


If you were Graphite would you ever get upset? People are always taking you for granted, using you then erasing you, using you again. When you finally produce something worthwhile, then what happens? Ink comes along and traces over you to make it “stand out” more. Or worse yet, you’re thrown away and Ink takes all the credit by making a whole new document based on your original idea. Most people don’t realize that Ink takes all the glory but you do all the work or as Henry Petroski says, “Ink is the cosmetic ideas wear in public. Graphite is truth.”

Sure the pen (filled with Ink) is mightier than the sword but where would it be without you? I’ll tell you where… flagrantly filling in textured nooks and crannies, one arrogant false start blotted out by another. Remember when they tried to make Ink erasable? Who had that stupid idea? Erasing ink was like trying to get a 40-year-old-man to move out of his parent’s house … awkward and more than a little embarrassing. I’ve seen evictions by the Sheriff go cleaner than trying to erase Ink. Don’t call on Ink to Graphite’s job.

Ink parades itself as a medium of communication. But there’s no give and take, no flexibility, there’s no reasoning with Ink. It’s not communication. It’s a monologue. The truth is Graphite’s dialogue takes more character. Anyone can have the last word. All you have to do is yell loud enough and then slam the door.

So, if you were graphite you might get upset at times. Many people want to extol the virtues of Ink while quickly forgetting your own. Just remember that Ink has its place but Graphite has its places…

And there are very few things in life that need to be stained indelibly in black.

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9 comments:

shawnmcq said...

I think the "backspace/delete key" is the supreme ruler now. It has been said that in as little as 20 years, the pen and pencil will be extinct. Ideas however, will remain forever.

Jonathan Foster said...

i don't think pens and pencils will ever go away... but then again that's not really the point...

youthpaztorwife said...

i often feel like graphite...
definitely used again and again...not always the bad kind of used, though. i'm a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a friend in times of need. i love being used in this way.
do i get upset? overlooked? unappreciated?
definitely.
but given the choice, i would choose graphite over ink every time.
i want to remain flexible, open and willing to make changes when necessary.
i love this analogy...
great thoughts...
things that make you go hmmmm...

Jonathan Foster said...

thanks 'youthpaztorwife' for the honesty.

Jeff Goins said...

i'm wary of ink... too much commitment required.

Jonathan Foster said...

you got commitment issues?!

Anonymous said...

Have to know...do you just sit around and grab an idea that is racing through the passages of your mind to expound upon? Have you read the 'Black Swan'? I think it is your kind of material! I know I am enjoying it.

Jonathan Foster said...

uh, not sure how the idea thing works... wish i did cuz then i could use it whenever i wanted... you know, manipulate it and make it conform to my power! (this is probably why i don't know how the idea thing works)

haven't read the black swan. who's it by?

Jonathan Foster said...

G. K. Chesterton: And don’t believe in anything that can’t be told in coloured pictures.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton