Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Pen: Scribbles from Childhood

When I was a little girl, my father kept an on-going diary in which he jotted down his conversations with me. It was written almost like a play, centered on the dialog between us. Six years ago, when I came back to my childhood home to mourn him (during the Shiv-aa, the seven days period after his passing) I unearthed many of his long lost documents, and among them--the diary. 

It is in a surprisingly great shape, despite the yellowing pages, and even if you don't know a word of Hebrew, you can appreciate his strong, fluent pen stroke and beautiful handwriting. It is firm even in the process of crossing out a few words.



This handwriting must have been on my mind when I wrote the opening lines of a short story, And Then She Left Him:

"He looks at the line. It is written in blue ink, pressed into the sheet of paper—vigorously here, faintly there—with his usual stroke, a stroke that drives through the spikes and valleys in the shapes of the letters at a steady slant. The line reaches the margin, where it is punctuated, unexpectedly, by a red stain. 

Blotting it is bound to leave fingerprints, and so Mr. Schriber  decides to leave it alone. He lifts the paper by its corner—and a drop bleeds down; he lays it down on the desk—and the stain goes on spreading. Going back to his writing, he applies too much pressure on the pen—and the pointed nib digs into the paper. Taking a deep breath, he tries to compose himself. The pen is his weapon. The simple act of pulling it over the soft, white surface has never failed to calm him down. Letter by letter, mark by mark, it will soon draw him into a different state of mind."

Excerpt from Home.



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Home
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13 comments:

  1. Your father's writings are a treasure for many reasons, Uvi. A beautiful excerpt. I look forward to reading the whole story and the book.

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  2. That's truly a treasure. And fascinating, too.

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  3. What a priceless piece of your father!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rickie, The diary is priceless, and some of my father's poems are now a part of 'Home'.

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  4. What a legacy your father left you . . . . I can readily see how the notebook gave rise to those opening lines -- a tease, indeed, to a story I'm really looking forward to reading.

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    1. Thank you SO much Deborah! You are the first to note the opening lines of the story.

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  5. This reminds me of how my father has saved all the letters I wrote him, and I have all the letters he wrote me.

    This is a treasure, Uvi!

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    1. Thank you Damyanti! My father did the exact same thing. After he passed away, I found all my letters to him stacked and organized by date!

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