What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Archive for March 13th, 2012

The Renewing Effect of Good News

Posted by Dirck on 13 March, 2012

Truth be told, I don’t think the good news and the effected renewal have much to do with one another, as the chronology of the two doesn’t line up.  However, I will start with the good news; the lab results which I was invited in to confer about indicated that my cholesterol levels are somewhat higher than desireable.  Given some of the things being tested for (diabetes, elevated PSA, hemochromatosis) on the strength of a family history of them going wrong, something for which mere amendment of eating habits might entirely address counts as very good news indeed.  I could even convince myself that the week of waiting prior to the appointment didn’t do me any harm in the area of apprehension.

Prior to visiting the doctor, I took advantage of the time off work to return a pen to a client.  It was a fairly simple job, just a resacking of a relatively low-end Waterman of the late 1930s, with a very slight alignment of the tines needed.  I also, as I habitually do, gave the point a polish.  I will mention that the resac was a little more fraught than necessary thanks to the sac having gotten extremely involved with the pressure bar, but I still rate it as “simple”.  When I returned it to him, he came near to gushing.

This was, I should say, his first fountain pen.  He’d found it in a the disused house of a relative, and while others were pulling out appealing items of furniture, he had fastened upon a the pen as interesting.  It was somewhat squalid, the point encrusted with old ink, and of course not functional.  He’d not expected it to clean up so nicely, he hadn’t realized that the point was made of gold, and he had not previously written with a fountain pen.  The whole effect was similar to enlightenment, it seems, and in standing beside him as the revelation unrolled revealed to me how… well, let’s say “jaded” I have become.  I don’t know if the backscatter of joy is still joy, but assuming it is, I was able to re-experience in a small way the joy of finding fountain pens.

Jaded?  I still, plainly, revel in fountain pens, but there is still a familiarity effect.  I am in very nearly daily contact with bright, shiny points and in slightly less regular contact with deeply marbled celluloid (because I sometimes they’re all in storage), and while all are dear to me, they are familiar.  I occasionally have something of the effect of new-found joy from getting in an unfamiliar model, but to catch even the scent of that initial opening up of the world of fountain pens was like drinking from a mountain spring after years of drinking well-aerated and -filtered well-water.

We can never recapture that sensation of first love, of course, but if one pays attention is it sometimes possible to revisit the memory in a thorough way.  I guess that’s one reason the Buddhists make such a big deal out of mindfulness.

Today’s pen, viewed through (somewhat) new eyes: Parker 180
Today’s ink, renewing acquaintance after a long absence: Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »