Power of the Pen

Tucker - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the total power that comes with carrying a pen. I believe in the capture of random moments in the day with pen and paper. I believe in sketching figures, structures, places, and spaces just because they hold within them a resolute beauty. I believe in taking those five minutes no matter the time, and letting the pen interpret what the world has provided. There is inherent beauty all around us and all it takes is a pen and willingness to realize it.

I have for a considerable amount of time believed in the powers of the pen, and it has truly has had an impact on my life. It started the day I first touched pen to paper and dreamt of the day when I would become an architect. I have come to see that my surroundings, both man-made and organic, hold a visual language that can only be learned and taught through the pen. For years I would sit secluded, filing page after page with the wonders of the world, whether it be an impressive landscape or just the veins in a leaf. I would try to get better, to do justice to the subject of my drawing, but it was not until Brent, my architecture teacher, came along did I really move forward.

Brent, like most teachers, is only required to teach to the curriculum. But he did much more. He would work with all his students to overcome their personal battles. Battles that many a time seemed lost and hopeless, but through diligence and perseverance be won. He showed me that it is in everybody’s ability to use the pen as a way to explore how the mind sees the world, and with dedication, this ability could be mastered

Day after day, repetitious drawing after repetitious drawing, my hand would become a little more trained. After month, lines began to work together, revealing an image more impressive than the last. My despair slowly grew into a hope, as small and silent as a single lit candle. Hope grew to delight, and weakness grew into strength. For the first time, my dream of becoming an architect, seemed with in my grasp, and from that day forward I still cannot help but shed smile.

My lifelong goal of being an architect has long been ingrained in me. My mother, Claudia, has been working in architecture for a nearly two decades now, and throughout my life I have experienced many occasions in which I was involved as well. I have been exposed to plans and drawings of houses, of apartment buildings, even of golf courses, and each exposure led me deeper into a fascination for architecture I could not escape. I feel as if there is some intangible artistic language mastered by nature and practiced by all architects and artists, or just anybody that puts pen to paper. It is in everybody’s power to see the world in this way, and to capture it through swift glides of a pen

Some people spend their lives seeing the pen as a tool to communicate; some see it as a way to record data, while most see it just as plain as any other tool. But it is the continuous and real effort that comes with carrying a pen, and taking the moment to sketch an old man reading a book, a woman carrying a baby, or a child with a balloon, that for many us a dream or even just a joy in life, might be realized. For I believe in the power of carrying a pen.