Lent Project Day 17: Slow Hand

Fountain pens and bottles of ink on a desk.

Last summer, I bought a dip pen and some fountain pen ink. I didn’t love the dip pen (I’m left handed, so pushing the tip into the paper or craning my wrist in some weird way to over- or -under-write was for the birds.

Fast forward. I bought 2 Lamy Safari fountain pens (medium tip). ZOMG I love them. Like loveLoveLOVE them. I like how smooth the ink is on the paper. I like my ink colours. I like how fancypants they make me feel.  So I bought 2 more pens and some more ink. I’m a believer. Child has used Lamy Safari pens for a while too, and for the trifecta, we convinced my gentleman associate that he should use them as well. He used to use a dirty of Schaeffer fountain pen when we started dating a million years ago when the earth was still cooling, but it was hard to get ink cartridges, so it was abandoned to a drawer. Child and I have converters in our fountain pens, so we convinced him to take the Schaeffer to our favourite (and local!) Stationery store to see if the proprietress could get him a converter too.

And of course she could! But he still wasn’t fully happy. The “problem” was that he tried our Safaris, and he, too, was hooked. I mean, good for Phidon Pens. We’re fans, and we’re highly suggestible. And we’re Instagram followers so we can feed our habit in visual ways, if not tactile.

I do love that I can have my own signature colour of ink (currently Diamine Snowstorm, a cool tone grey with silver shimmer) and also have eleventy thousand other bottles of ink for good measure (because you never know when you might need a good teal or periwinkle or amaranth). I really and truly enjoy writing with my fountain pens.

As a writer of the sinister-persuasion… wait… Sidebar! Sinestra means a person who is at once beautiful and fearsome (often used to describe dominatrixes, particular drag-queen dominatrixes). Also means On the Left.  The EtymologyNerd in me is gleeful about this confluence of information (and superduper amused). But I digress…

As a writer of the sinister-persuasion, I write a little slower so I can enjoy the experience and not get ink-smudged all over the edge of my palm and the length of my pinky. The struggle is real, yo. When taking notes in meetings, my writing is sloppier as I try to get it all down quickly before I lose the salient distilled point. But boy howdy, when I can take my time, recording thinky thoughts or taking notes off a website or entering intentions in my planner, my writing is lovely and loopy. Being able to enjoy the wordsmithing is a luxury and a joy. Truly.

I’ve been thinking about whether it’s the time or the great penmanship that’s the elusive thing I like best. It feels like cause and effect – I take my time, the writing is great. The fountain pen is the conduit that makes both possible. It’s a kinder, gentler way to pass time, too. Sure, you can be a serf to clocks and alarms and reminders, or you can measure a break by the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, or define a finish line by the time it takes to draft a page of handwriting. I’ll take the latter, thanks.

When you choose the gentler, quieter route, there are unexpected moments of clarity. You never know what messages from your subconscious will bubble up to the surface. Listening to the universe isn’t just being quiet. It’s about active listening: Connect, understand, grow.

This Lent, may I take some time to quiet my mind enough to enjoy the peacefulness (and other gifts) I find.

Extra Credit:

I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!

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