I used to write on paper because it was heroic.
Poetry, lyrics, even passages for novels.
I had three or four journals that I lugged around like trophies.
Better yet, artifacts from a waning era that few still appreciated.
I know that I appreciated it when I witnessed others writing on paper.
It was a communal demonstration of the sacred.
I couldn’t stand when aspiring novelists assended upon the coffee shops with their laptops.
Or aspiring musicians walked into a studio’s vocal booth with crisp, clean copies of their lyrics.
It was as if they were somehow cheating.
There is something soothing in knowing you have a backspace key.
And somthing pacifying about the nurturing embrace of a spell check program.
I used to despise these things.
Writing on paper showed bravery.
In fact, my years spent writing on paper made me a better writer.
Its harder to write on paper.
It takes more committment.
A blank page is a sobering mirror looking to reflect from the most inner dwellings of your thoughts.
A blank word document on a computer is an excuse to surf the internet.
Sadly, over the last several years I have converted to writing almost exclusively on computers.
I don’t know how this happened.
Perhaps I was slowly seduced by the sweet sedative of convenience.
Perhaps I have succumb to an element of fear in my writing.
Regardless, I hope the pattern is not irreversible.
I still revere the challenge of paper, even after I have lost sight of it.
This makes me wonder about the generation coming behind mine.
It occurrs to me that a great many of them may have never learned to write on paper.
The thought of a paperless generation of writers is one that I find dreary and tragic.
I hope that at least a few in the next generation have a place in their methods for that which is sacred.
This poem is being written on paper.
Tomorrow I hope to embark on another blank sheet of loose leaf.
And the day after that, perhaps I will dust off an antique typewriter.
Then get on the computer and Google where I can purchase some typewriter ribbon.
Written July 2009 (On Paper) in Edinburg, Texas