the earlier post about a visit with julije knifer—invited by my friend and knifer's friend zarko radakovic (those were the days when a zagreb painter and a belgrade writer were linked by the yugoslav "highway of brotherhood and unity")—elicited a comment by the flowerville blogger:
i like the drawings. besides i was at the pencil factory in cumberland where they make the derwent pencils (derwent is a lake and a river maybe and a mountain, no idea, at any rate it is a lake and a pencil....). it's always inspiring to see how writing equipment is being made and it is inspiring to see too other people use it like you.
i started to respond that my awkward drawing of knifer's pencils from germany and england, pencils used by a master of graphite works, didn't have anything to do with my own work other than being a quick note. but then i remembered that the 1995 trip led into the next several years of depression and finally divorce and to do something, anything, during that time i bought some pencils like knifer's and did a couple of drawings like his just to get a feel in my hands and back and shoulders of what it felt like to blacken paper with graphite, dark and darker and more dark, the sound of the pencil rasping against the paper, hours slipping past with something, anything, to show for it.