Ink. I love the way it feels. I love the way it stains. Ink in different forms changes the way I write. When it’s super liquidy I write messy, but my thoughts can come quickly. When ink is sticky — ball point — my handwriting is nicer, but thoughts are slower. I wonder how that affects my product? I don’t like messy writing. I prefer it neat. But messy writing is quicker and allows for messy thoughts. Which I like.
Squid ink in a paella pan in Spain. A harpist plays in the flat above. The music drifts in from the open balcony. The paella is black from the squid ink. Did it have flavor, the ink? I do not remember. I remember the anchovies. Not anchovies packed into a tiny tin, not anchovies as small as my pinky. Oh wait – those are sardines. Anyway, anchovies from the market in Barcelona. Anchovies with silver skin, charred in the pan. Anchovies with fins and faces, served whole on my plate. Do I use my fork? Joaquim delights in my propriety. Wiggles his oily fingers covered in scales and tender meat. “Like this,” he says, and picks up a silver fish with his fingers, pulls bones from it, pushes white flakes of fresh fish into his mouth. Smiles and tips his head at my plate. Go ahead, he nods. It’s okay.
Ink makes my mind tangible. Thoughts with no form, airy, floating, nothingness, are made permanent on a page in black liquid lines that dry to solid. Indelible. The invisible becomes visible. Nothing becomes something. Gas to solid. Not gas – not anything. Thought is not matter. Ink makes not-matter into matter. There are experiments where thoughts influence matter, right? Something with subatomic particles and thoughts influencing where they move. I could be making that up. If I’m not, which I don’t think I am, what does that make thought? Is thought energy? A force?
I smell rosemary. It makes me think of New Orleans. Of the rosemary hedge on the way to the Thai place. Of Luca’s roasted chicken.
Photo Credit: Frédéric Glorieux
For the month of April, I will be publishing a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.