It seems odd to start a new project like a blog at this moment in my life — especially since my “real blog” could really use some writing love. But I don’t write about pens there.
This is the saddest, most difficult time I’ve ever been through. And for a change, it’s not caused by anything I’ve done or can do. There’s no way I can solve this problem. No way anyone can. My mother, who has been struggling for almost three years against stage 4 pancreatic cancer is no longer in treatment — no more treatment is possible. She started hospice care a little over a week ago. My dad and I have been trying to keep her as comfortable as she can be. It’s so hard. Cancer is painful and that makes her dying all the more horrible.
Anyway, at the same time, during the past six months, the political and education podcasts, Twitter, and websites I read and participate in have been pretty dark places. This isn’t a good time for anyone. And then I stumbled onto the Reddit Fountain Pens group and found The Leaky Nib podcast. That led me to Tokyo Inklings and The Pen Addict. From where I was sitting, this world seemed so kind — so outside the moment I was living in. Also, I have been a daily fountain pen user and lover for the past nine years since the lovely late Fred Krinkle helped me pick out a special Pelikan M400 to take with me to my dissertation defense. But Fred is a story for another post.
Anyway, suffice to say that in the past six months I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. I’ve gone from having three Pelikans, one of which my dad uses, to having ten Pelikans, plus four others (an Artus, a Matador, a Sailor, and a restored Vacuumatic). I’ve gone from having four inks — all Pelikan Edelstein, to…. a lot more. Both Mark Bacas and Gena Salorino have done nib work on my rashly purchased vintage pens — Gena even transformed a non-working Pelikan 140 into a full flex pen. It’s been expensive — the way any new hobby can be and I really need to slow down. But each step, even my mistakes, has been fun and friendly and decidedly low stakes. The world needs much more of that.
Which takes me to yesterday’s evening of pink kindness. After I’d decided that I’ve spent enough on pens for a while, this beautiful Pelikan M600 pink came up on Pen Swap. Pink and orange are my favorite colors. Not pastel pink, but bright, vivid pinks like fuchsia. I was strong — told myself it would go fast and to close the window and walk away. I did. But that evening I checked back. The sale was still open. I checked my bank account and gave in, writing the seller and saying if it was still available I would like it. Friendly Paypal information was exchanged and that was it. Friday a box arrived from Toyko, but because I was at my parents’ house, last night was my first chance to see and play with it. Like all my Pelikans, it writes like a dream.
In anticipation of its arrival I ordered pink inks in either small bottles or samples from Vanness –whose shipping is lightening fast — don’t use Amazon, they don’t know how to pack ink (that’s another blog post):
- The Colorverse trio: Miss Baker, Lights on Ceres, Mars Attacks
- Pelikan Edelstein Star Ruby
- Diamine Cerise
- Monteverde Kindness
I spent the happiest hour of my week last night swatching ink in my Col-o-ring (the perfect gift for a fountain pen lover — I think I’ve given 3 as gifts since I discovered them at the start of the pandemic lockdown). In the end, I decided on Monteverde Kindness — though I love Star Ruby as well. But ultimately, I need Kindness this week.