I love to write with fountain pens. There’s a practical aspect that when you’re writing using a fountain pen, you don’t have to press as hard as with a ball point pen so they’re easier on your fingers. I also enjoy the feel of writing with a fountain pen with the pen gliding across the paper. I admit that there are some impracticalities to writing with a fountain pen such as the paper you use. It has to be higher quality than your standard paper today because the ink soaks into standard paper rather than floating on top as with ball point pen ink. I actually have to buy my journals from Germany to get a high enough quality for fountain pens (Leuchttherm 1917 if you’re interested). Also, your fingers can become ink stained if you smudge the ink before it dries. But I think these are small prices to pay for the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen.
There’s an interesting tradition in Judaism when buying a fountain pen: you are supposed to write out the name Amalek and then blot it out. If the pen is able to blot out the name Amalek, you know it is good enough to purchase, but if it doesn’t blot out the name, you should avoid the pen. The tradition comes from Deuteronomy 25:19 which commands: “… you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!” It’s an interesting tradition that is definitely a conversation starter when you’re testing out pens in the store.
This post too, is a conversation starter. Here I am, a person who enjoys writing with previous century (centuries?) technology beginning to write using the latest 21st century technology. The form may change, yet the human connection through conversation remains the same. So please: comment back, start a conversation, and let me know the topics you would enjoy reading and responding to. I’m looking forward to the human connection, even if it comes through the computer.