Keeping the pens alive. Philosophical thought.

Pens have been okay. There are some that do tend to be strugglers. But then encouragement after attention is usually successful.

The simple exercise of writing a few words to ensure the fountain pens keep going is a blog theme addressed before. Today I got to thinking of the strugglers. They write okay, but have to sit alongside others that write more effectively. It would be easy to leave them be and not use them. However. I can’t give up on using the ones that need more attention. I’d like to have more skills in taking them apart and repairing them. They are fragile due to vintage age at times, so can’t be forced to come apart and be reassembled to work more efficiently. They could break and become useless.

Life is similar isn’t it? Dynamics in family circles, friendships, professional status, general socialisation. Supporting others who struggle. Or others supporting you yourself if you struggle.

I did actually think this above when using the pens this afternoon. ‘If I was struggling and got shoved to the unusable drawer. How would I feel?’ Funny how parallel thoughts appear when a simple action is being performed. Paying a little or more attention to the ones that need it.

It sounds trite, but performing everyday tasks can help philosophical thought. Ethics, reflecting, giving others freedom of choice, decisions that do no harm, etc. In the act of a simple performance of keeping your fountain pens alive and the fact they are simply items? No. They have been around for decades. They have been a daily inclusion in someone’s life. They were essentials. They were important for their owners. They wrote love and friendship letters to others, information recorders of important knowledge, wrote poetry/novels/shopping lists. They may have found themselves in a drawer and ignored for decades too. Now? They find a new lease of life and can perform. Sometimes with a bit of a wobble. But with every possibility of ending with a flourish.

Strangely, I put purple ink into a couple of pens. One, the Cross, always a difficult starter. The other a new purchase, the Jinhao X 159, that was still awaiting elongated action. As I was doing it I smiled. ‘This is going to be their purple patch’ I thought. I realised that subconscious actions are as important as conscious actions. These two are going to shine over the next few weeks.

Fountain Pens hey? They can teach you a thing or two.

13 thoughts on “Keeping the pens alive. Philosophical thought.”

      1. Sure! And thank you for mentioning vintage, as I never would have thought about that since somehow I figured it might be hard to find ink refills for them. My uncle used to make pens from wood “turning.” I’ll have to write a post about it. All the best to you as well.

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      2. Thanks for the reply. Pens from the 1920s to 1950s all have inherent ink converters. Basically getting ink from the bottle into various chambers. Cartridges are later introductions. But still, more modern pens have the option of buying a converter to replace cartridge use. A rubber ink sac that is depressed and squashed by some mechanical means and then released inflates again and allows ink to get into it. A piston twisted to the end of a tube by turning anti clockwise is then turned clockwise allowing ink to be pulled into its solid plastic tube. So you can replace ink sacs or piston tubes if they perish or break. Look forward to your write up about your uncle’s pen making. Cheers.

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      3. I find that the people I follow give information that is very new to myself too. It’s good to keep finding out about those things we are unaware of. I still have a lot more to learn re: fountain pens too. All the best and look forward to your uncle’s insights.

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  1. Interesting reflections Gray. I love that you’re using purple ink. I’d use them all the time. You are right about the parallels to how we treat people. Why we persevere when others would give up. Its easy to see that at work; do I have the time, is this student willing to put in the effort; why do I put in the effort even if no-one else does 😊

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    1. I was reading your new post yesterday and thought about your write ups on the synergy of your ownership of cameras, lenses, films, scanners, etc. How deep, yet easy to grasp and understand, your analysis is on photographic results. How useful they are to photography enthusiasts. I also read another enthusiast of inks who combines a simple few pens and one ink and tries this small combination on a plethora of different makes of paper. Inkxplorations is the site and an amazing read for pen/ink/paper enthusiasts too. There are other theme driven bloggers, like yourself, who are those to look forward and read readily. I will be back to picking up the camera again in the future. Definitely. My minimal choice of Pentax LX, three or four lens and some Ilford may change to try out a couple more choices. A certain developer!, the 645 and another film type. It’s enthusiastic and insightful informative posts from bloggers like yourself and inkxplorations that keep that spirit alive. Now I know you use the choice of fountain pens and it brings such positivity for you, that has made me smile. All the best.

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  2. I absolutely understand. It is one of the things I appreciate when using a vintage pen. Tehre is no special connection to the Wingsung 601 I am using, but pick up the Duofold (1928) plus it has the original owner’s name engraved. My imagination races. I do not have a purple ink, looked at a couple. Maybe next time I order ink.

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    1. You are spot on. My old school Osmiroid may have had its nib changed by myself recently. But it is still my old school pen. The italic nib was transferred to another Osmiroid. Still okay, but a struggle. Age has deemed it an awkward writing experience now. The new nib in my school pen is what this blog is about. Keeping the pen alive. Like having a new hip replacement I suppose. Your Duofold has a beautiful 14 carat nib I should imagine. Therefore a longevity that will always bring a smile to your face. And those names engraved? I remember your blogs talking about that special inclusion before. My Swan Mable Todd ‘Robert Bishop’ engraved does the same imagination thing. Cheers Danny.

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