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Pounding in Some Humility

Posted by Dirck on 24 November, 2011

Many people will have heard an old saw which runs “to a man with only a hammer, all problems look like nails.”  This can be easily applied to we fountain pen folk, as well.  Writing = fountain pen, right?  In honesty, I do have and even use other forms of writing tool, realizing that for some purposes or surfaces, a fountain pen is just not the thing.  Pencils are more easily erased, and markers are much better at helping to distinguish leftover chili from the current tub of yoghurt.

What brings this to mind is a chap on a pen forum who apparently owns ONLY pens made by an extremely expensive German company.  Any pen suggestion he might offer, any ink referral he might make, all carry but a single brand.  I don’t name it (although I disguise it imperfectly) because I don’t want to investigate whether the company in question is due this loyalty.  However, to declare it the be-all, end-all of writing is not quite on.  I’d like to suggest that people who place their reliance on a single tool need to expand the tool-box.  At some point in the long past, I pondered what it would be like to find The One True And Best pen, but I find on reflection that even having found it, one should probably keep a nice yellow pencil about just in case.

I should admit that part of my consideration of this topic has orbited the focus of my leftie, egalitarian urges.  I get a little bristly at the suggestion that the only good pen is necessarily an extremely expensive one.  I have also considered the charms of the less expensive pen in various entries (here’s one), and I think that it is good for the spirit to step down from the lofty slopes of wealthy and examine how the less fortunate manage to scrape along.

I am, as I’ve said over and again, fortunate in my pens if not my employment, and I should say that the other pen I’ve been using this week is rather above my station.  Today’s pen, on the other hand, is affordable.  In absolute terms, the Sheaffer is a rather better pen.  But this Atlantic, for all that it is very slightly toothy, oddly balanced and somewhat gaudy, it not a bad pen.  At worst, it informs me of how nice a pen the more expensive creature is.  At best, it instills the sense of “there but for the grace of {insert preferred metaphysical agency of arranging human affairs} go I” which is a component of the ediface of empathy and compassion which makes one the sort of authentically good person all should aspire to be.

Pretty impressive performance for a little cheap pen, isn’t it?

Today’s pen: X-Pens Atlantic
Today’s ink: Noodler’s blue

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