Interstices of time.

Art by: Eleni Debo

09 May 2019

In the interstices of time, the forgotten minutes of the day, I sneak in a few reflections on my phone. In a corner of one greying office, imagination blooms. It takes over my desk, growing like vines of voluminous flowers all about; every curling vine can be traced back to me, back to my pen where the words flourish and new worlds are born.

But that is all in my head.

In reality, it would be too conspicuous to even draw out a sheath of paper or my white notebook. So I quickly jot down a few thoughts, passing musings like clouds in my head that are inexorably moving away…


It’s not quite the same experience though. There’s traditional writing: balancing a pen between my fingers, a notebook laid out before me, anticipating the gush of words, the opening of new otherworlds. Then there’s this, a rectangular black device with a keyboard already filled with letters, where penstrokes give way to tap tap taps on a writing app. It’s useful and practical. Simple, as it should be.

It’s different, though.

It’s less intimidating, for one. Nowadays, my brain stutters before a blank page, feels the weight of expectations before pen touches paper. There have been times when I’ve opened my journal, poised to write and empty my heart out, only to close it moments later, pages still blank, the pen discarded.

Here though, as with anything related to smartphones, there is a sense of urgency (I’m already stealing time away from my work as it is), to pin the slippery idea down asap. The inclination to delve deep stays away. Sometimes it is just the beginning of an idea that makes it to the app. I type it down, and wait for the idea, a sapling, to grow until I can transplant it in my notebook.

And yet, I am so grateful for it. So grateful that thanks to technology, there is no season to writing. No predetermined creative hours. The door to imagination is open at all times of day and night. Even in the business park where I work, the smartphone and writing app lend me this inconspicuousness, making me look like just another head in the crowd.

7 thoughts on “Interstices of time.”

  1. Interesting perspective. I’m still tied to something more substantial than a smartphone keyboard, perhaps because of clumsy fingers, but I am drawn to the instant accessibility of the smartphone for jotting down (typing down?) ideas that might otherwise get lost while searching for pen and paper.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I am a paper and pen person through and through 😁 But as you said, the instant accessibility of the smartphone is really quite practical. Thank you for typing down this comment haha 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Ilah!! 🤗 I loved this piece so much, as it resonated with me in so many ways. As you brilliantly put it: “Nowadays, my brain stutters before a blank page, feels the weight of expectations before pen touches paper.” I sometimes feel the urgent need to grab my diary and frantically write down the waxing and waning of my thoughts; unfortunately, this seldom happens, as I suddenly feel overwhelmed by the sheer force of those feelings and forgo trying to put them down on paper. This is where technology really helps. That said, I really, really hope that reading what you wrote will help me overcome both my “fear” of not being able to use pen and paper anymore, and – hopefully – the feeling of powerlessness to which I yield, but which I really do dislike. Thank you! ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ludovica 🤗 I am so happy it resonated with you.

      I empathise with your experience, it is most unsatisfying to not be able to get the words out. With technology, I think it also helps because of the ‘unlimitedness’ of it all. There is no end to the digital blank page and so, writing seems less daunting of a task. There is no space to be wasted, no paragraphs to be struck out and so it makes moving on and not dwelling on perfection a bit easier 😊

      I truly hope putting pen to paper becomes less daunting for you, as I’ve missed reading you. I look forward to reading whatever you will write, it’s always a treat no matter what it is 🙂 Sending you much love x

      Liked by 2 people

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