Friday, March 02, 2012

Mightier Than The Sword

An obsession is something unhealthy to everyone but the person obsessed.  Lately I have been obsessed with fountain pens.  For several years I searched in vain for a pen that felt "right", every new type of pen that I encountered had to be mine as certainly this new design would give me what I felt I needed.  I then recalled the cheap fountain pen I had used all through High School and all was settled, at least, for awhile.

My first foray into this madness was the purchase of a no name Chinese made piece.  With that I forgot all about what writing instrument I used and simply used it.  Then, just this past December, while browsing pen pics (a habit my wife playfully calls "pen porn") I stumbled upon the Montblanc Thomas Mann Writers Edition, and once more I was seized with the thought of the supreme writing experience I might be missing out on.  The Montblanc was the price of a used car, but there were other prestigious pens far more in my range.  I settled upon a Parker IM, with which I wrote this very essay.  Its sleek design and elegant simplicity was love at first (forgive the pun) write.  However, this too was not enough.

Now, after but two months since its purchase I have again bought another, a vintage Parker "51".  Anyone who collects pens knows that this is the most coveted of its type ever made.  Its revolutionary hooded nib, its balance in the hand, and long history have made it a prized item not to be without.

Now will my pen lust be sated?  After a forty dollar eBay auction I would like to believe so, however, I realize this is not the end.  I may indeed be done with pens, but something else is certain to rise up and ensnare my brain, for at my age I've learned that one may be very creative in avoiding creativity.  The need to write is sublimated into writing instruments and one can become convinced that just one more tool will give you the edge.  Thankfully, I learned to catch this trick of the mind years ago and work around it, as evidenced by what you are reading now.  But for others the lure may keep them searching when all they needed was before them all along.  In that case the pen may truly be mightier than the sword.