Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sometimes the sword wins a round or two

People at work, and more than at work if the truth be told, know me as a gadgeteer (if you will permit the word). iPhone, a MacBook Air, electronic readers, an early user of a Blackberry - before it was even a phone.

So, it is amusing to them to discover that I write with a fountain pen. Fountain pens, actually. I tend to have three with me at work.

Three? Why more than one, I was asked. I demonstrated how the two I had with me in a meeting had different colored inks. But why three? Because the desktop pen case I have holds three - the best answer I have I'm afraid.

I blame my brother.

My sister-in-law and he gave me a fountain pen as a gift. I was best man at their wedding and such is the American custom. That was one. I now have twelve (some of them further gifts I might add - but others I have added to my collection myself).

It can happen. I know a few collectors of fountain pens. It's a bug that bites deep.

Some of mine are wonderful work-a-day pens. Others? Others are functional works of art. I like the beauty, the way they slow me down when writing, the ritual of taking care of them, of inking them.

But, as my beloved has told me, I am enamored of rite and ritual.

My most recent pen is rather special. A limited edition. It commemorates an Italian Journalist, Ilaria Alpi - about whom I knew nothing but know a little now. The pen was created to commemorate her death - in 1994. Only 1,994 of the version I now own were manufactured. The pen is known as the Delta "Peace". It is beautiful, without doubt.

And I like the associations it has. Now, there is an occupation that has the promise of benefit to society. And, as was the case here, far more risk than my own.


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