Day 11-100 (2)

 

Day 11 of 100 Happy Days

For those that know me, I am an avid writer. Yes, I write blogs, but that is not what I mean. What I mean is that I take my penmanship quite seriously.

It started early.  I was always a neat writer. I remember being a fastidious printer and I can remember the effort I put into my cursive writing. You remember cursive…the handwriting of the teacher.  The square little cards above the blackboard that showed how to make the perfect I or Q. From pencil and eraser, we graduated to pencil only – and a ruler to strike out our errors.

And then we were given our pens…classic 29 cent bics, that eventually ended with chewed caps and those little plastic bits on the end that if you crushed just right with your teeth, would suction onto the end of your tongue.

I can remember all the pens that I went through…the quadruple bic pen with the red and green and blue and black ink. The roller ball, the gel pen, the Cross, the Parker. And then I moved to the fountain pen…first it was the Schaeffer with the disposable ink cartridges.

With the fountain pen I had finally found the writing implement that I would favour for the majority of my adult life.  I experimented with many versions – thin nibs, calligraphy nibs, thick nibs.  I love the feel of a fountain pen and the smooth, elegant script that it would produce. I ignored the constant ink stains on my fingers and the occasional Rorschach ink blot on the page.  It added to the charm.

In 1992, the Mont Blanc Meisterstuck entered my life. And if a pen can define a man, this was it. That pen was my constant companion – save when I went on manoeuvres in the field. The heft of the pen was comforting and the strong, ornate nib etched a unique, bold, line that changed my writing style from functional to characteristic.

Those that know me know my handwriting. The ink, the signature, the way I make my letters, were an extension of my personality. People knew my notes.

I have owned that pen for over 23 years. I have used this fountain pen tens of thousands of times, and refilled it from black, burgundy, blue, royal blue, peacock blue, and green ink wells thousands more.  It has taken a few hard knocks, but nothing a few dollars and the skill of the Mont Blanc artisan could not replace. Every two years it goes into the “shop” for a tune up and a detailing, and comes back crisp and clean and ready for more yeoman service.

If you can care for an inanimate object, I would say that I do indeed care for that pen.

As we move to a more and more digital society, we become more dependent on laser jets and scans.  You can make your mark in thousands and thousands of computer fonts. And the letters, and certificates, and posters look marvellous.

But a handwritten note, on thick bond letter paper, in an envelope sealed with a wax cipher shows a level of attention that you cannot replicate with bits and bytes. This pen, and the notes and letters and cards that I write with it, are extensions of me. A carefully crafted, handwritten, personal note will bring a happy smile to anyone, which means that I can bring a smile to anyone. And that makes me pretty happy!

Later,

ASF

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