Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, July 16, 2016

An amusement

 It was an impulse. I purchased a dip pen set. Yes, it has a feather but the writing part is metal. It was the next advancement after the quill pen. It arrived safely in the mail yesterday and I placed it on my desk. I must say it looks good there. I tried it out and found it works remarkably well. Guess the old folks knew what they were about. I felt rather scholarly writing with it. I found you can't be in a hurry. The ink " runs out " suddenly. Then you have to pause, dip the pen back into the ink well before continuing. It gives you time to think that much is sure. I don't think I will use it much but it is an amusement. I have toyed with the idea of learning calligraphy but, truth be told, I haven't the patience for it or the artistic ability.  I  will just practice writing in basic cursive, something I have been doing for a little while now. Perhaps with this pen it will look a little better. The lines are certainly finer.
 I was thinking, as I wrote with my new instrument, how back in the day only the educated folks wrote things down. The oldest writings concerned finance. Rather telling isn't it ? First thing we wanted to keep track of was our money. I had, in my possession, a ledger belonging to a 4th great grandfather. This ledger was velum bound with sheep skin. The earliest figures were written in English pounds and later in dollars and cents. It was donated to the library and placed in a fireproof room for safekeeping. I heard, some years later, that a researcher found some information in there that solved a mystery. I was happy to hear it. The notations in there were done with a dip pen, maybe even a quill pen. I'm thinking that back then things had to be pretty important before they got written down.
 In my brief experience writing with this pen I was forced to slow down. That is the one thing I found difficult. My brain tends to run in high gear while my writing and typing speed runs at a much slower pace. On the plus side, it gives you time to form the letters. The act of writing, something we all take for granted today, is an art form. There was a time when learning how to write was an occupation. Yes, folks were paid to just write stuff down. Amazing isn't it ? It was a real " feather in your cap " if you knew that skill. Sorry, couldn't help that. But still, at one time it was considered a laborious undertaking, I'm thinking because of the time involved if you were writing anything of great length. No wonder Guttenberg invented movable type. We all get those images of Monks sitting at a writing desk for years on end.
 Well it is an amusement for now. I have shown it to my grandson and he thought it was cool. I really do enjoy the old stuff. I like to use it, not just look at it. I have a replica of a rug loom, handmade by my great uncle Fred, hat works, The threads that are on it are getting much too fragile to fool with now, but you can see how it worked. That was a process that took time as well. I think I would have liked living back then when things weren't so rushed. If you wanted to write a letter that took some time, no zipping off an e-mail. Yes back then you crafted things. Whether you were writing a letter or building a barn, you had to be a craftsmen. Now we can pass off that trait to automation. Maybe that is part of the problem today. We are losing our ability to transfer the thoughts of our mind to our hands, to craft things. Crafting is thought of as a hobby ! Is it really a craft to build things to do the crafting for you ? I hear they are working on artificial intelligence too. Why ? So we won't even have to think for ourselves ? And just what has this all to do with a dip pen ? Nothing at all, but I do tend to wander in my thinking. I was thinking about a person that could not write going to someone that could. I'll pay you to write this for me but how would I know ? I can't read either. And from that came the desire to learn my letters.