The Complexity of a Pencil

While I drew with the pencil, my mind was on a lot of things. As a left-handed person, I've felt annoyed at pencils my whole life because they almost always smudge and mess up the clarity of my hard work. I hadn't used a pencil since high school, and the grip of the pencil was unfamiliar. I sketched a bunch of hexagons and thought about everything that had gone into the making of this one pencil. I think that most people never consider or appreciate the complexity of the pencil. The pencil lead itself is already very complicated, being composed of graphite, water, and clay. In addition to lead, the pencil has a rubber eraser on top, lacquer on the outside, and most importantly, the wood body of the pencil. I wondered how many trees lives have been wasted because of pencils that were never completely used, and I felt guilty about all the pencils that I had lost or thrown away. As I finished my sketch, I lifted up my hand and realized that the entire left side of my hand was completely gray, but I was still glad that I got to ponder and spend some time with this seemingly simple tool.