Fountain Pens December 16, 2005Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
Sometimes we have to move away from technology and recognize where it does not serve us well. Last week I wrote a birthday greeting to my sister in Canada with a fountain pen that I usually reserved for writing my signature. I was hoping to be profound and charming. Instead I made a bit of a mess of it and ended my letter thusly:
There is a substantial group of people who believe that writing slowly and thoughtfully with a fountain pen, for example, can overcome some of the dehumanizing aspects of technology. Here is a passage from a piece on writing with fountain pens that hits the mark:
Waldorf students learn handwriting using a fountain pen, rather than a ballpoint, precisely because the fountain pen emphasizes this connection between thought and matter. Because its point can easily catch on the paper, the fountain pen teaches attentiveness and sensitivity. Because the ink will pool if one presses too hard, or not register if one glides too lightly, it teaches balance and appropriateness. Because the pen needs to be maintained, it teaches the value of care. As with all work done by hand, writing with a fountain pen forces one to experience the “denseness” of physical reality-which is exactly what higher technologies try to mask or overcome.
I was able to find a decent set of instructions for writing with a fountain pen that suggested the reason for my cramped writing style was that I was “finger writing,” something they say should be avoided at all costs. So after all the years of typing on those darned keyboards, it appears they have untrained my fingers and hand and now. please imagine, Mr. Technology will now make a concentrated effort at learning how to write once again.