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.

Peacecc

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