The most important lessons that school can teach you are seldom part of the curriculum.
Drawing a line, my pencil lead snapped; perhaps some weakness with the graphite, perhaps some tension in the hand spanning aeons in the making. I turned to the sharpener and looked out of the window, across a grey London skyline and was transported back in time, to a dimly lit classroom overlooking a miserable playground full of bruised knees, half-looks and thugs.
As the wood shavings coiled away from my hand, I remembered trying to make them as long as I could, every twist a game of jeopardy that ended in a broken curl or a snapped point.
Alone now, as then, I wondered how the potential within that pencil could narrow to such a point that to draw a line was a balance between success and failure; between being profound and just another smudge.
I wondered how my own life had narrowed to such a point that I became afraid to draw another line; afraid that if I did, I could never find a point that would last.
© Jack Leonard 2021