When I was a kid I had to use a certain pen in school. I went to a high school where they valued penmanship and they made you use an Osmeroid pen which is an italic instrument. The nib was horribly scratchy and so the experience was anti-sensuous to say the least. Scritch, scratch, scratch we went as we copied long Latin passages into workbooks which would be presented to the Mother Superior and graded. No splots or blemishes were allowed so this was a gigantic exercise in Rules and Punishment.

Just writing with the Osmeroid was punishment enough. There was nothing buffering the tip of the pen as it bucked and heaved its way across the cheap absorbent paper. We could only use a character-free blue ink, too. I really hated that whole thing. Took a great passtime and turned it into something to dread.

Recently I have gotten into pens and inks in a big way and for some odd reason bought a Lamy Joy calligraphy pen. What a difference. I loaded it up with a very peculiar dark and desaturated purple ink called Vanilla by de Altramentis and I can only say WOW. The difference between eating canned Chef Boyardee ravioli and eating something freshly made and lovingly presented.

In some small way this represented all of the discomfort I have felt I had to endure for the sake of someone else and now I have thrown off one more shackle with that pen. I still have that Osmeroid from high school, and you know what? I am going to sell it as a curiosity. Hanging on to pain, just because it was once there, is not a wise idea.

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