Johnny writes about childhood pencils in MungBeing magazine:
“When I first arrived at Kindergarten, we all had little boxes that we put onto the top shelf of our cubbies, standing on five-year-old tiptoes. In my little blue box that day was a Faber-Castell GOLIATH – a thick, red pencil with soft-feeling lead and a nice pink eraser on the end. Of all the goodies in my blue box – scissors, paste, a ruler, etc. – I was most excited about my big pencil. There were boxes and boxes of markers and wax crayons at the pre-school and even more at home that my parents provided for my brothers and I.. But one pencil, only one. And so grown-up looking! I had just turned five and suddenly felt immensely important that I had been given a single pencil that would allow me to do so much. My introduction to pencils was thus to a quality German pencil, and the rest of my childhood pencilship was tainted by this….
….But I think that what people love about pencils is not necessarily something akin to childhood innocence. I don’t think it’s possible to recover the naivety of the sandbox, nor is it desirable to do so. The responsibility that comes with knowing what we know that we did not know as children – whether we know it from education or worldly experience – is not something that we can shirk off just by using pencils or any other magical tools. The reason pencils resonate with adults is that they remind us of the sense of wonder that we had as children. Only, as adults, this wonder is armed with some degree of practical wisdom in that pencils put us into a position of wonder that is coupled with power and freedom. We look at the world differently when we remember being kids, and we have the freedom to explore our world that we might not have had as school children with homework and parents and curfews. Most importantly, we have the power through what we already know to look in the right places for what we still wonder about as adults.”