Sunday, March 04, 2012

Pens, Inks and Correspondences

On this fine late winter morning, I've just finished putting together a box of blank note cards for a dear friend who is coming to dinner this week - an accomplished writer and gifted correspondent in her beautiful seventies, she has a wide circle of friends and a lifelong correspondence and journaling practice.  Alas, there is a whole shelf of beautiful blank journals here in the study, sheaves and sheaves of handcrafted cards created in my studio, and I am not using any of them...  My friend (who chides me gently about such things and will do so again at dinner) has already run through the cards I gave her at Yule and requested another box, but I have not sent out a card since December. I am ashamed, deeply ashamed.  Even Spencer sends out an occasional card with his paw print on it - the last one was a Valentine sent to his friend Emma last month.

Thinking about writing something longhand, I consider how appalling my handwriting is and feel like hiding in a corner somewhere. So much for the creature who learned penmanship from the nuns as a child and took prizes all over the place for her graceful letterings - lately there are times when I can't figure out for the life of me what my crabbed handwriting says.  Does the scrawl on my shopping list say butter or bananas?

A nagging voice says over and over that I have to get back to writing longhand, and the voice has issued a few rules. Not another blank journal enters the house until I get my act together and begin writing in the blank journals and notebooks I already have.  Not another artsy card is to be created or purchased until I get out the old Waterman pen and start penning long promised notes to friends and kin. OK, so my paws are arthritic, and my cursive wanders all over the page - that is what I have to work with, and it will just have to do. The thing is to commit something of the journey to real paper, to make inky marks on pages in my own wobbly hand.

There is light at the end of this tunnel though.  Writing gives me a fine excuse to haunt art stores and linger over inks in peacock blue, crimson and magenta.  The voice says nothing at all about purchasing ink in unusual colors, and Private Reserve makes some whoppers including one called Tanzanite, a shade of violet so deep and rich as to be almost indigo in its intensity. The same manufacturer makes a gorgeous color called Purple Mojo, and I am thinking of giving both of them a go. Lining up the new inks on my desk, I shall feel as happy as I do when gazing on markers and pencils, paintbrushes, boxes of water colors and tubes of oil based pigments. I can do this, yes, I can...


One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

I so relate to this post. A past of writing notes and filling journals with my thoughts. A drawer is filled with special note cards, special writing pens.
I truly miss this passion and it seems since acquiring a computer about 5 years ago I almost stopped this special passion.
Still, when I see a special card or stationary I cannot resist adding it to my collection...

Angie said...

Your 'writing' about 'writing' makes me long to 'write'. I am the world's laziest at putting real ink on real paper, but this post makes me long to be able to find a store that sells those inks and purchase a Waterman pen and beautiful inks. Colors dazzle me---almost hypnotize me---with their beauty. They call to my soul with such intensity... The Muses are commanding me to put thoughts onto friend keeps gifting me with notebooks and journals and notepads---my 'real-life' spirit guide keeps giving me topics to fill numerous journals with---Do you think the Gods and Goddesses are trying to tell me something? ;)

Mystic Meandering said...

Well, my dear Cate :) you can send me one of your beautiful note cards with hand written note any time! - to keep you in practice of course :) LOL I have hand made note cards as well, but I hardly ever send one. Hmmm... Need to change that! I call it keeping in touch the old fashioned way... But I don't, when with just a click of the keys I can contact anyone "out there."

I have a file cabinet drawer full of old written journals, and another pile on the floor that I'm supposed to be working my way through. I'm nearly ready to start a new journal as well. I have noticed though, since I started blogging, that I'm not journaling the real meaty stuff as much, as it's all getting worked out in writing for the blog... Hmmm - need to think about changing that because I want to commit the real journey to paper. I do print out the posts and keep them in a file :)

Guy TROTT said...

Hi Cate

As sucker for stationary I understand the impulse. Maybe a new ink will be the kick start you need.

All the best.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Interesting. I used to write, or rather print, lots of letters to friends who lived far away. I also used to drive a '55 Chevy and spend lots of time on a bicycle. I probably will not go back.

On the other hand, I used to buy store made food a lot. Now I cook more and more from scratch with organic foods that I barter for at an organic farm or pick up at a bulk barn store. Not all of my changes are for the worse.

Nan said...

I don't think you should feel so badly about not writing. You do 'write' on this blog- beautiful, thoughtful, meaningful words that reach a lot of people. Just because something isn't handwritten doesn't make it less somehow.
Lately I have realized that I like occasion cards from the Jacquie Lawson site:

better than paper cards. They are really lovely. In fact recently I couldn't get to a store and buy a sympathy card and sent one via JL. I found it more sincere than any paper ones I've ever seen. I could 'write' my own note.

I think people are journaling even more now that there is the weblog.