Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Take Pen in Hand...

One of the unexpected pleasures I’ve derived from becoming more involved in fountain pens and the fountain pen community is my interactions with others. For example, through the Fountain Pen Network I have acquired several correspondents.

My current correspondents are a varied lot: men, women, young, older, students, professionals, homemakers, living on three different continents.

So what do we all have in common? Well, the obvious answer is an interest in fountain pens and writing, of course.

But the commonalities go beyond that. The emphasis, pretty consistently, seems to be on how everyone is getting along – how the family is; the job situation; economic difficulties – even the weather. The human condition. And though our backgrounds are in some ways quite dissimilar, we can all relate in one way or another.

I have a job in middle management, with a staff of 55. I deal with well over a hundred emails, texts and phone calls each day. I’m not trying to boast of my importance (because I’m really not that important!); the point is that I communicate with a lot of people every day of my life.

And yet, when I began this written correspondence, I was surprised at how out of practice I was in letter writing. I hadn’t actually written a letter by hand in many years. There’s something contemplative in sitting down with paper and pen to compose a letter; the speed of execution is such that one can thoughtfully construct the letter rather than dashing off the first thing that comes into one’s head. I enjoy the opportunity to slow down and take the time to really put something of myself into the process.

And I’m trying to bring that same approach to this blog. I hope I’m succeeding.

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