An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

04 January 2013

The year of transfiguration

As I grow older, I find that I become increasingly shy of technology, less of an iconoclast, more traditional and conservative in my methods and techniques. I use the computer less, and use paper more. For editorial jobs that do not require layout and design, and which involves a sufficient number of encoders, I tend to write my corrections straight onto the paper, and then submit it as such, old-style, via courier, with the pages marked in longhand, with classic red ink. Even though I have a Kindle Touch, the 2012 version without the “frontlight,” which is closest to paper, I still gravitate to actual books from time to time.

And just a couple of months ago, I have gone back to acquiring fountain pens again, a hobby that I started sometime in 2006 and sort of relegated into the back burner for the past four years, due to the demands of work and life. I have always used fountain pens the whole time, but I used only two pens, one Pilot Vanishing Point for the quick and dirty note-taking and signing jobs, and one Pelikan Grand Place for the more laid-back writing and editorial projects. Both have always been loaded with my ink of choice, Noodler’s Zhivago, a black ink that is tinged with green, which is certified to never fade or disappear with water or chemicals, and will always stay on the paper it is written on, forever.

Recently, after I have gone back to the fold of fountain pen acquisition once more, and I am amazed at what I have missed in just five short years! I have missed out on four different limited edition Lamy Safaris and about five limited edition Lamy Al-Stars, a bunch of special edition Pelikans, and the first wave of pens from one of my favorite manufacturers of ink, Noodler’s. And speaking of ink, I have missed out on a whole lot of limited edition inks as well, and was the last to know that Pelikan has come out with a new line of inks, called Edelstein, and that Pilot has an entire line of gorgeous inks called the Iroshizuku, and they come in the most amazing glass bottles. Ah!

Of course I can no longer collect all of that which I have missed, although I did make it a point to acquire some of the pens and inks that I could find that are still going for the retail price instead of the much-higher-discontinued-rare-pen-or-ink-price, but at some point, I had to put a ceiling on the spending, in favor of more urgent financial duties such as the rent, the bills, the utilities, and the daily bread. Nevertheless, I am happy with what I have, and these are my daily writers.

Some people ask me why I need fountain pens when a regular 5-peso ballpoint will do. I just shrug and say, “I prefer nice things,” but in my heart, the real answer would have taken more words, more time, and and a much more open heart for the listener to understand. Because at the end of it all, these adorable pens and inks are what I use to write down the significant ideas and thoughts in my life, in my attempt to make sense of things, and in an attempt to have some semblance of conscious preservation of the moments and details that are important to me.

As my professor once said, memory is a tricky thing, which is why it’s so important to journal. As one whose memory is also beginning to fail her, I have to say that this girl agrees, and as she grows older, the more she appreciates the things she has written before. And I refer to myself in that previous sentence in the third person, because it’s as if the person that I have written about years ago is a completely different person altogether, and no longer me. I have, indeed, come a long way, in more ways than one, and I am just happy to be alive, in the world, surrounded by friends and protectors, and still able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like fountain pens, inks, paper, notebooks, books, and remembering.

So this year, I will write, write, write. Write down my life, my novel, my heart, my memories, my thesis, my essays, my letters. I shall convert my entire being into words, words, words, in ink, on miles and miles of paper that shall span roads that I have travelled and will travel, and shall span the entire time in which I have been privileged to breathe the same air as the people I love. My experience shall live on in words painstakingly and lovingly written by hand, stroke by stroke by meaningful stroke.


Anonymous Luisa Mohn said...

you have great handwriting :)

10:19 PM  

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