At long last I finally completed my fountain pen & ink box hand made of the final stock of century-old oak moulding rescued from a soon-to-be-demolished Chicago mansion.
When you run your fingers along the warm and naturally aged finish you can almost sense the depth of its history; it adorned the library and parlor; it eavesdropped on conversations: the Wright Brothers, the Titanic, Women’s Suffrage, Mickey Mouse’s cartoon debut, the Great Depression, Amelia Earhart, WW II, Gandhi’s assassination, the polio vaccine, Elvis’s hips, President Kennedy’s assassination, Berlin Wall construction, Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Vietnam, disco, Star Wars, the Rubik’s Cube, Mt. St. Helens, Oklahoma City, Columbine, Mandela’s release, and the Internet.
Its history now holds six bottles of ink; eight fountain pens (left to right: 1920’s Conklin black & pearl (USA); Sailor Mid-Size (Japan); Nakaya Long-Writer (Japan); Pelikan Souverain Tortoise (Germany); 1950’s rare Omas “Double-Nib” (Italy); Laban (Taiwan); 1950’s Brause (Germany). Each pen possesses its own personal significance: some are rare, some are unique, some are common, and one was custom-made specifically to my specifications.
But most importantly they deliver my private sentiments or quick notes in a style long forgotten in this age of immediacy. Writing with a fountain pen requires a certain degree of ceremony: Filling its reservoir, wiping off excess, capping the barrel, reflection, and then lowering the oblique-ground nib to paper and allowing your hand to slide across the paper like a figure skater alone on a frozen pond amidst a light snowfall. There’s a resonance in your thoughts; there might be smears, or skips, but what unique and personal thought was ever free from blemishes.