Slow Down

Writing with a fountain pen on a postcard, copyright Paul MerrillI’ve discovered the joys of using a fountain pen. It gives me a unique sense of pleasure to feel the pen tip moving across the paper. The paper’s texture enters my brain in a way it never could if I was using my super-smooth ball-point pen.

My sister and her family raise chickens. Sure, it takes a lot more work to keep those birds happy compared to simply buying eggs at their local supermarket. I am sure that the eggs taste better – and that their kids are learning responsibility in a way that schoolwork alone could never do.

The book Words Onscreen (by Naomi Baron) advocates moving away from electronic books – and back to the old paper variety. At least one of the reasons is that printed typography can be better. I’m not sure I am willing to ditch my old Kindle, but it’s worth considering.

Walking or riding a bike to get somewhere takes a lot more time. Time is money, so it can be expensive too. But you’ll smell the roses along the way.

Brewing coffee with a French press takes longer than an electric drip machine. But I like the taste better.

I’ve started sending old postcards, by snailmail, to friends. I like using my fountain pen and making that small analog connection with humans. (Who doesn’t like to get something in the mail?) If you’d like to get a free postcard, send me a note via comments on this post. Then I’ll send you an email to get your address. Apologies, but if you live outside the USA, I can’t afford the postage – about four times more!

Photograph taken by my daughter Rachel.


5 Replies to “Slow Down”

  1. We received your postcard today. I’m enjoying the feeling of my fingertip on my iPhone as I write this appreciative reply 🙂 and YES, an in-person visit, whether in Texas or Colorado or wherever, would be great. Our love to you and yours. – Steve

    1. Steve, our love to you and your family too. Can’t wait to meet again!

      Interesting that you mention enjoying the feeling of your fingertip on your iPhone. Similarly, I enjoy the feeling of my fingertips on the trackpad of my four-year old Macbook Pro. Though it’s silver-colored, it’s actually glass.

  2. I used a fountain pen in junior high. It took more effort to write neatly, but overall was a fascinating experience.

    I’ve always enjoyed the mail I received from you. I posted scans of a batch of odds and ends you sent a few years ago, including an AIDS pamphlet and a tourist map of Brussels. Fascinating stuff. I also treasure the cassettes you sent me decades ago. You introduced me to some of my favorite music.

    I much prefer to press on actual keys than on a glass screen. There’s more reliability, for one thing. My current phone can be really annoying when it won’t respond to touch. But I don’t know of any good current phone that uses actual keys except maybe a Blackberry, and I hate their tiny keyboards.

    1. Thanks Tim! I have enjoyed staying in contact over the years.

      Send me your snailmail address & I’ll send a postcard. My email address: phmerrillatgmaildotcom.

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