Metaphors for the Pace of My Life

These are two of my most prized possessions: MontBlanc Meisterstruck instruments. The black is my mechanical pencil and the burgundy is a discontinued fountain pen.

I just reconnected with a Twitter friend after over a year or maybe almost two, which reminded my how fast time flies. Answering his question about how things are going I realized that my MontBlancs are metaphors. This friend handcrafts fine fountain pens of exotic woods and other materials. I used to delight in writing with my fountain pen, mostly in my journal. Nothing (well, nothing involving a writing instrument at least) rivals the pleasure of watching my thoughts fill a page of heavy-weight paper, flowing freely from a finely-tooled nib in a rich color. But writing with a fountain pen is a complicated process. One cannot store a fountain pen filled with ink for a long time. So using it usually involves changing a cartridge or pulling out a bottle of ink and filling the pen’s well, which can be a messy business. I rarely carry a fountain pen in my purse, so using it requires sitting quietly at my desk at home.

But sharing news with this friend highlighted that I hadn’t used a fountain pen in such a long time. My life has sped up, my attention has been more fractured, and my writings have become more temporary. I use my mechanical pencil almost every day. It’s still a beautifully-crafted tool, hefty in weight and pleasing to the eye. But it’s for a faster-paced life with little leisure for the sensual pleasure of fountain pen writing.

Sad. Maybe this summer….


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