Thursday, November 01, 2018

Slow Down

Tomorrow is International Fountain Pen Day. Perhaps this is not important to those folks who long ago switched over to ball points or roller pens. But if you’re an aficionado of pens— if you own a pen case for your pens, know your inks and can talk about ink flow this is an important day. It was in 1827 when Petrache Poenaru received a patent to develop the first fountain pen—so that he could take notes faster without dipping and dipping his quill.

I love pens and discovered that one pen to a pen enthusiast is not enough. One leads to two and then it keeps going. Did I really need the pen with dragon decorations on the barrel? Or how about ink? My latest color— Oxblood Red. 

Some pens are designated as drawing pens and some letter writing pens. Twice a year pen lovers have an opportunity to exchange letters with other pen lovers. For the past six months I’ve been corresponding with five people I’ve never met. One lives on the west coast of Australia and the other four are in the western states. We don’t discuss politics. One woman dropped me when I referred to my wife. One woman who teaches American Lit at a college in South Dakota is originally from Chicago and is chafing under the constraints imposed upon her by a “ puritanical” vision. We share comments about literature.

One correspondent lives in a small town in Wyoming and writes poetry that grows out of that scenery. We all spend the extra twenty-one cents to use a wax seal which requires hand stamping. 

Writing with a pen slows down the world— no electronics. No one telling you of a spelling error. You are on your own. No hidden spelling wizard to help out. This is pull yourself by your own bootstraps. 


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