Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thanks and Memories

As the title suggests, I want to thank Juli for giving me so much furniture. I'm now quite a bit closer to a home as opposed to a hovel; the bookshelf, bed, desk and chairs rock, and they make the place feel much less empty. Scratch loves the fact that he can jump over everything. I'll probably be getting even more from her soon. I'd still like to get a kitchen/dining table, but that's lower priority now that we've got a start on horizontal surfaces.

Onto the memories: I was going through my old molskine notebooks (they aren't that old, I got my first one a year ago) and I found myself surprised at what I've done, and what's happened out in the world since I started writing. I'd set goals at one point, several of which I met, but also several that seem further than before. Despite that those have been forgotten for nearly a year, I'm still disappointed in myself. Last year, I was even berating those who don't live what they want to live, those who have failed themselves. I wrote with vigor, anger, passion and even love, but now those passages seem securely hidden, trapped in their pages, bound by leather, waiting for me to follow with action.

I had thoughts on school, but I only met a few of my goals there.  Despite the turn of events, I know I probably could've done better.

My largest group of thoughts was on my wolf project, which never even left the ground.

After all that, and looking at why I met, or didn't meet my goals, I realized that I'm somewhat aimless, attacking ideas haphazardly, without thought on what I was doing or even why I was doing it. I wrote statement below after finishing the first book and reflecting on what I said.

–From now on, I will do what I need to get done for myself and for others, with integrity and justice; I will follow with what I want to do to further myself and my understanding of this pale blue dot; and I will do my best to hold myself to my conscience, my means and my expectations.

It's vague, doesn't say anything about time, and this statement has nothing to tell about how I can get things done, but I feel that this represents the best realization of a personal mission statement. I took some time to adequately say what I meant.

P.S. I just want to mention that I've gone through a couple pens now. The one thing that would mean quite a bit to me these days is a good fountain pen. I don't really want something too expensive, and there are a number of acclaimed pens in a rather moderate price range.


  1. There is definitely something special about the feel of a good fountain pen, the finesse of touch it requires, the curves of the writing strokes that it seems to draw from one's hands. And then, once one has had it for a while, the nib has worn to exactly the angle that matches one's own hand angle and nobody else's.

    Ball-point pens are so impersonal, and so brutal; they require so much pressure that writer's cramp is almost inevitable. Fiber-point pens are uncontrollable, not amenable to the subtleties of a fountain pen.

    I once had a fountain pen that I loved, although I found it impractical for everyday use. I just looked in the drawer where it used to live, along with a supply of ink (peacock blue; if you're going to write with something expressive, you want to choose an expressive ink, too), but it's gone. I don't know what's become of it.

  2. Yeah, the one I've been using has pretty much completely fallen apart. Ball-points, despite their ubiquity, just don't cut it for me.

  3. There's another phenomenon with fountain pens -- they pose a challenge to lefties in that the ink takes time to dry, so a left-handed person has to keep the hand in a curved position to keep the wrist from smudging still-wet ink. But the resulting handwriting is especially graceful. I've seen that with both your great-grandmother's and your grandmother's writing, and also both John and Marilyn Bush. All of them are lefties who learned penmanship with fountain pens, and all of them write (or wrote) beautifully.

    I wonder what would have happened if your dad had learned handwriting with a fountain pen instead of a ballpoint.


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