Apparently the sale of fountain pens is on the up (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18071830). Of course I was curious. I like my pens, and my preference for doing any writing is my Rotring Esprit. What is it that is making people want to write rather than type?
Well, it was a disappointing read. It seems it is nostalgia driving the boom! But then again, is that why I use a fountain pen?
For a left-handed person like me the fountain pen should never have been a first choice – but it was how writing had to be done in my days. It meant I developed three distinct hand-writing styles to avoid smudging the ink as my hand followed the pen across the page. Writing with the hand proceeding below the written line (back-hand slant); above the written line (forward-leaning slant); and upright, holding the pen perfectly vertical, and my hand arching over like a snooker spider.
Watching the ink seep into the page is lovely to see. And doodling in the margin during meetings, drawing swirls and parallel lines, colouring in, is so much better with ink – and so enables me to concentrate more thoroughly (in case you think it distracts me!) You write more carefully with a fountain pen, take pleasure in crafting the letters.
It is how the Bible was first recorded.
Wouldn’t it be good to read a bbc news article that people are buying Bibles. But not out of nostalgia, and for status symbols, but to hear it write into our lives. To be still and to let it speak, to provide unsmudged lines with which to tidy up our perception of reality.
You with the skills, practise them!