In my continuing quest for a better life and better ways of living, I have come to cherish my lunch hour. It is a time that I ‘m away from my computer machine, away from the telephone machine, away from my beloved library patrons. Over the last few years I’ve done most of my reading during lunch. I have thought some of my best thoughts during lunch. I have written them down. One of the most enjoyable parts of my week are the days I sit on the sidewalk patio of a local eatery with my rig, relaxing with my thoughts and my books.
Below you will find my “lunch rig”. This is my current lunchtime non-eating equipment. Here, side by side, you find total harmony where there should in fact be conflict. On the left, my newly discovered (just a couple of months ago) Kindle, which I deem to provide the best possible reading experience. Yes, this librarian thinks reading the Kindle is better than reading paper. It is easier on the eye, convenient, and elegant. Granted, I think the Kindle and eReader content in general lacks any real long-term archival quality. No one is going to dig up a Kindle in 3000 years and be able to read it. But for my lunchtime needs it serves admirably.
Existing side by side with the Kindle, in total harmony, much like the often-sung-about Ebony and Ivory, is my actual paper journal and Lamy Safari fountain pen. Yes, while reading on my modern device I often write on good old paper using a fountain pen. Not a keyboard. There is something satisfying and civilizing about the experience of putting ink to paper. It slows me down from my normal pace. I gather my thoughts, relax my shoulders, arms, neck, and face, and smoothly (as possible) form legible handwriting.
I have found that my practice of Aikido has improved my handwriting, once I understood the connection. Relaxation. Centeredness. Awareness of the moment. A desire for elegance and utility, rather than brute force and function. Flow. Yes, flow is important.
Handwriting is personal. Handwriting belongs to the writer.
Technology coexists with the Old Ways.