In the New York Times magazine feature, “Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories,” Sam Anderson pays homage to the writing instrument—invented in 16th century England—that could well go the way of the dodo.
A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions of your hand as it moves across a surface.
They help to rescue us from oblivion. Think of how many of our finest motions disappear, untracked—how many eye blinks and toe twitches and secret glances vanish into nothing. And yet when you hold a pencil, your quietest little hand-dances are mapped exactly, from the loops and slashes to the final dot at the very end of a sentence.