A Fountain Pen, Wet Ink on Real Stationary
I revived an old practice of mine last week. I took one of my fountain pens out of my collection, filled it with ink and went to the mall to look for elegant, real stationary. At Hallmark Cards, the cashier said, “No one writes letters anymore so we don’t carry them.” I found a box at a specialty shop. I had hoped for paper, thin enough so they would rustle in your hands, my words delivered in a gentle breeze. I found a box with each sheet of thicker stock, smooth at all the edges except at the bottom, as if it had just come off the bark of a tree.
Beginning a letter with a fountain pen has its own rules. Salutations such as Hi, Hey, Hello, or Whats’up won’t work. It has to begin with that four letter word Dear.
I sat in front of an Espresso shop with a cup of latte. In the hive of the mall, I felt alone, like Elizabeth Barrett Browning or Emily Dickinson in her attic. While others around me had their ears stuck to a cell phone or their eyes glued to a laptop, I wrote. I knew the person receiving my hand-written letter would receive each word as it was being written, deliberately and carefully , each stroke carefully made with person in mind. I could see my thoughts flowing out with each word. There is no delete key on my pen. It was an act of pure romance.
The letter was received as expected when the following was emailed back:
“ It was a wonderful experience to read it, a true step back to a kinder time, when people put thought and vibrant content into their letters. Scenes from a mall….”
There is something romantic and very personal even in folding the paper, licking the envelope and placing a stamp for the postman.
I’m still looking for stationary that will rustle in the breeze.
(Since that letter, I have taken my collection of pens out of storage. I had some of the nibs replaced. I recommend Colorado Pen if you can’t find a local pen shop. Helpful and wonderful personnel on the phone, beautiful catalogs and immediate service.)