It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person approaching either a vacation or a national holiday must be in want of extra work. Thus I am toiling away feverishly at boring work, even as I should be cooking for Thanksgiving and writing posts about pens.
But needs must, and like the Pilgrims surely would have, I will send out my thanks over the internet. Weirdly, I am going to be thankful for ink here. Because it’s a blog with a theme. Because I like ink. And because, okay, you guessed it: I got up late the day they were passing out Thanksgiving topics to bloggers, and I missed out on all the good ones. Oh, and I also have to bring two pies.
No, sincerely, I’m thankful for my three favorite ink companies. KWZ, my new favorite. Montblanc, which I can never resist. And J. Herbin, my old favorite. These inks are easy on my pens, and easy to clean out of my pens. The colors are beautiful, and the inks shade. That’s my entire wishlist.
I’m thankful for my most used ink: Pelikan Brilliant Black. The old reliable.
I’m thankful for all the inks that friends have sent me to try this year. Those made this year a lot more colorful, a lot nicer and a lot more fun.
And lastly, I’m thankful for the inks I tried this year that were hard for me to like initially. I didn’t always end up changing my first “yes or no” inclinations. But I always ended up changing my initial impressions. There were some “I don’t think so” inks that became “this is just fine in the right pen.” And there were also a few “I don’t think so” inks that became “I cannot write with this another day, not even another second.” (Most of those were in the babypoop brown category.)
Don’t let anyone kid you: ink is just colored water. Inks are not at all like people. Okay, except in this one little way: some you love immediately, some you take a bit longer to warm up to and some you may never warm up to, but you still benefit by giving them the benefit of the doubt, as much as you can.
I may not like babypoop brown, but gosh darn it, some people want three or four different babypoop brown inks. And I may feel an involuntary shiver run down my spine when someone says “I have a great avocado green ink here,” but the truth is, every other fountain pen user seems to love avocado green inks.
Ink is just colored water. But still I’m thankful for each time I encountered an ink that was more challenging, because it helped me remember, in the tiniest way, that we get back what we put into things.
So, ink fans, I say, today, two days before American Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful not just for the inks we love, but also for the hard-to-love, the puzzling, the “what do people see in this anyway” inks. The “brown” inks that are black, if we’re telling the truth to power. The hard-to-read neon greens. Even the everyday blues.
Because, just maybe, these things are worth another look. A better look.
Let’s keep trying. And let’s be thankful for the opportunity to do so. Because just being able to devote a few minutes of the day to think about ink, instead of more pressing things, proves it. We are so lucky.
We should remember that every day.