Monday, April 3, 2017


The latest post from Susie at SheJunks had the neatest ending---she spoke of her sister who “does not do e-mail,” and of the quiet simplicity of sitting on the porch on this past Spring weekend, writing a letter as April arrived and the skies were a perfect sapphire overhead.   She says she “still writes,” quite matter-of-factly, as if it’s a confession to practicing an archaic custom long-forgotten, and I do fear that it soon might be.
It made me think of a long-ago post of my own, and of the delight in receiving the gift of a new fountain pen.
“I have ink on my fingers today---I just filled my new fountain pen for the first time.   It was a Christmas gift from Sweetpea and her Mama, who choose the most wonderful presents, with a good eye (and ear, for they LISTEN) for what any of us might enjoy.
The ink---that's a FEELING. I'd been admiring and picking up my graceful new bottle of ink since Christmas, for it came with the pen. It's shaped like a squat, very smooth hourglass, with, like a lot of us, a lot more sand run through than remains. The lid is like a wide-top shako, sans plume, and the whole thing is made of the smoothest glass, with the inky depths converted into gleaming onyx by the shining curve of the hip. 

The pen itself is a lovely purple, and Caro and I tried yesterday to name it---her "aubergine" came closest, I think, for it's just the shade of one of those smooth slender Japanese eggplants, hefty in the hand.   It was chosen by our Sweetpea, because it's her favorite color. The clip is exactly that, like a Gucci paper-clip, strong and sturdy and sleek. And I'll be writing today, a bit, REALLY writing, for almost all my words are set down in clicks of the keyboard. I CALL that writing, for it engenders a spark of satisfaction, but the real thing is done with hand and pen.”

And my comment to Susie: 

Did you ever think you'd use the words "still write"? That's like "still cook" or "still read," to me---and the feel of that real fountain pen, flowing out your words and thoughts to someone you care about---that's just the loveliest part. And that they "write back," is a great blessing and boon. I think we all need a "Doesn't do e-mail" person in our lives, if for nothing else, to keep us aware of the lovely moments of stillness between words and thoughts, as we send and receive in that age-old way which they keep alive and we so easily forget. 

We dash down so many letters and spaces on the fly, with great gulps of information and doings and sharings, like we're out to get it all out there before we forget. But there's the quiet moment on the porch, with the little table holding pen and ink and paper---oh, all those lovely papers, with their different textures and colours and feel---those moments are akin to worship, on a small plane, I think, contemplating and putting down the slow, even lines to be read and savored and kept long beyond the dried-to-dust empty ink-bottle and the billions of bytes cast into the air by our flying keyboards.

What a lovely thought you've conveyed this morning, beyond the Spring weekend and those incredibly blue skies we enjoyed. I think I'm going to go take down my (real, hold-it-in-your-hand) address book and get out one of those packs of the Spring floral paper. Even in here, in a warm chair with a cup of tea, it will evoke Summer Sunshine to send out a note or two to those I love.


donna baker said...

Love the written ones too. Nobody does it anymore. Almost...

Chronica Domus said...

I still enjoy writing cards and thank you notes which I find so much more personal than a quick email (email, of course, does have its place).

I've always had a love-hate relationship with fountain pens for we were made to use them as young students at my school in England, and I always ended up in a real mess when attempting to refill the cartridge with ink or, more conveniently, pop a new cartridge into the barrel.
My daughter was recently given a beautiful calligraphy set consisting of three pens and various inks and for nostalgia's sake, I did have a go myself. Somehow, filling that cartridge bladder seemed a lot easier as an adult writer.

nonie everythingsewing said...

Love this. I started mailing holiday cards to the grands, so they would know what it is like to get mail. With the dollar store it makes buying cards possible again.


Susie said...

Thank you for this post. I love the pen. I read this two days ago and am just now leaving a comment...had to come back at a later time. I remember fountain pen that had those cartridges. Even with those we could get ink on our fingers. LOL. I have some ink and pens, that I used in a calligraphy class that I took with my friend Dana.I need to get them out and try doing more with them. That was such a fun class. Blessings and happy writings, xoxo, Susie

Kim S. said...

I love receiving handwritten letters and the idea of writing them. But, I confess, with bad hands and little time, I generally use email.