"Is it rude to sign a greeting card in pencil?" my friend Jill wondered out loud at her going-away party at my house last September.
I'm sure there are many different answers to that question. (Emily Post may agree or disagree, however...)
In my humble opinion, the simple fact that someone took the time to write heartfelt words, package them up in a lovely card and present them to a loved one is the complete opposite of "rude."
The deep thinker in me chooses to take it a step further, and view the "pencil" symbolically. As a metaphor for dealing with life's events. An elaboration:
-The fact that my best friend Jill lived in Denver for six years and recently moved to Des Moines reminds me that many things in life are not permanent. We penciled Jill in as a "Denverite," and that doesn't quite apply now.
-The idea of "erasing" said pencil marks can look different to a variety of people. To some, the erased marks can fade so much that over time, they can be completely forgotten. One can choose to view the eraser as a tool for starting fresh.
-To me, pencil marks are permanent, whether you see them or not. The words written in Jill's card to me may fade over time, but the message will stay with me always.
Crayon, Sharpie marker, blood, whathaveyou -- the gesture is what matters most.
On a lighter (or darker...you choose) note, since it's December 31st today, it's only fitting that I reflect on some of the things I've "penciled in" over the past year. I'd make a detailed list below, but I think you get the jist. (I'll sit down with my pencil on my own time and crank it out...) Deep down I'd love to permanently erase some of my pencil marks from this past year, but I realize that they will permanently remain in my heart and contribute to my life's complete sketch. Faded, worn or smudged to oblivion, they're my own personal marks, and I'm happy to have them.
Here's to creating sharp, strong and lasting (or lightly-pressed and smudged) pencil marks in 2012!