Notes from the High Country


“My whole life I have had this secret vice. I am addicted to fine paper and fountain pens. I cannot pass a stationary store. When I moved to Germany, fifteen odd years ago, the first place I went to was a small stationary store in Fischbach FRG. The first thing I bought in Germany was a wonderful Pelikan fountain pen. It is not the kind of vice that was acceptable in a generation that ingested vast quantities of drugs in the increasing need to escape our inner-demons and conflicts. I have always felt alone in this little secret vice, but no more.

There is something to the heft of real paper that calls out to me. The same is true of the scratching of a fountain pen over thick paper. I have just about every fountain pen currently made — except a Sailor — and all those little boxes and tins of ink cartridges. I even enjoy the feel in my hand and it moves across the texture of the paper. I love calligraphy and have always wanted to try my hand at illuminating a manuscript or even a single page. (I saw the Book of Kells as a teenager, when it first was exhibited in the United States.) The thing about writing in a Moleskine with a fountain pen is that it slows you down. It forces you to be mindful, to be aware as you write. We live in a world of constant distraction, rhetoric, and noise that tries to suck us into the maelstorm. The act of sitting down with a pen and notebook is one of defiance to modernity. (Ironic that I compose this on a computer. Trust me, the irony isn’t lost to me.)”

Web Gecko
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Visit his blog, “Notes from the High Country”