Ok, so I’m not a TRUE Luddite. I embrace technology. Let’s face it–you have to. The world won’t wait for you to catch up to it. I actually like a lot of technology. That being said, I find it alarming that there have been reports of school boards who question the need of teaching penmanship in schools, since all the kids are using keyboards (of one type or another), and that writing with pens and pencils will soon become a thing of the past.
Seriously. Someone actually suggested that.
I remember the time in elementary school when we graduated from the gigantic blue pencils (that had no erasers) and the light brown paper with blue lines and chunks of wood sticking out of it to fountain pens and real “loose-leaf” paper. We were now big kids. It was a special thing, and from that time, I have always loved writing with a fountain pen.
There is something special about a fountain pen. Every one is different, and they adjust to your style of writing. A fine tip in a Parker is different from a fine tip in a Waterman or Mont Blanc. You actually have to “break in” a fountain pen. Sometimes a new one will feel rough on the page, and after writing with it for a while, it smooths out and is perfect. I love the ritual of filling the pen, as well. The whole experience forces one to slow down, and think about what you are doing. With a fountain pen, you must be conscious of what you are doing, maintaining consistent pressure on the page, and a consistent angle of pen to paper. You can’t use a fountain pen very well if you don’t know the proper way to hold a pen. Have you ever seen the way some of the young people working in stores or elsewhere hold pens? It’s kind of frightening. Where did they learn this?
Using a fountain pen reminds me of a time when sitting down to write something was important enough to slow down and think about what you were doing. Of a time when things might have been slower, but they were more elegant and artistic. And it was part of our everyday lives, which we took for granted then. I cling to this last vestige of civilization–As long as I still have a fountain pen, I know things are going to be alright.
Now it’s time for some video games.