A penny saved is…
I secretly collect white pencils which I use at work. No, not the new ones but the ones that I’ve used.
At our workshop, we use white pencils, which we sharpen with a cutter knife, to draw lines or marks on the cloth. When they get short, we use silver pencil holders so that they can be used to the end.
To tell the truth, the reason why I collect the pencil stubs is because I want to see how far I can use them. It depends on the person but in my case, I doggedly use them until they are 1 cm stubs. They’re not easy to use when they get that short but I think “It’s still got life to it” and sharpen the lead still further. Thus when I have finished with a pencil, I have this tremendous sense of achievement like “Yes, I’ve done it!”
It’s been 5 or 6 years since I started collecting these stubs. When I counted them the other day, there were 161 in total. I could say “A penny saved is…” but since they are pretty useless, they’re like a pile of rubbish. I could arrange them into the Chinese character of “大” ( dai/big) and set fire to them like at the Great Bonfire event in Kyoto. But this would be a waste as I’d like them to be something very special. How about a special pressure-point massage board for the sole of the foot? But the pencils would then leave white dots on the sole, so I guess that’s not such a great idea after all. I have to reluctantly admit that this is as far as my creativity goes.
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