Today, I was in the bookstore because I like to hang out in bookstores sometimes (actually pretty often whenever if I am around them), and I found myself in the stationery corner. Pretty soon thereafter, I found myself scratching away at one of those sample papers they keep around the pen section, with a beautiful fountain pen that they had also left out for people like me to try out. I’m sure people were looking at me funny at this point; this girl standing in front of all the pens, standing there for probably five to ten minutes…writing who knows what on those tiny sample papers, page after page, oblivious to the people passing through the aisle or standing nearby, flipping through magazines.
The thing is, now, I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what exactly I had written. I just know that I couldn’t stop. It was perhaps the magic of the fountain pen. That slight catch that the tip of the pen has on the surface of the paper, so that with every stroke, you are pulling, stretching it out on the fibers beneath. The act of writing itself becomes so very a part of the expression, more than just the words. The movements themselves come alive, and I am caught in its flow, the words no longer coming from me…it is rather like I am following the pulls of the next stroke, feeling them out like I would with my hands outstretched in the dark.
I felt that I was much closer to the art of writing than when I am using any other form. Maybe it’s my imagination, but there is definitely a certain magic and beauty to the fountain pen. Enough to leave me stranded in its enchantment for a good ten minutes until I felt my dad tug at my shirt that I’d been there long enough and that we needed to leave to actually finish our errand.
I wish I could have stayed there in the dark with my hands outstretched.
(Or if I’d brought my wallet so I could have made that fountain pen mine and we could have spent hours on the floor with my journal, listening and feeling each other out.)