I tend to be far more interested in real things than virtual things. I want real life – I don’t do FaceBook and I’m not much interested in social network friendships. I like to smooth my hand over the skin of my lover’s face so much more than I enjoy seeing his latest Tweet. I believe there is an enormous value disparity between a man-made reservoir and a naturally occurring lake. Can’t imagine owning a Wei – I would far rather hula-hoop for real than pretend to do it on a computer. Call me crazy…that’s just how I roll. I like technology and gadgets, don’t get me wrong – but first I have to be cajoled away from tactile interactions with the actual world.
There’s considerable irony in the practice of keeping an electronic journal when one is a hand bookbinder with a vintage fountain pen collection. I’m keenly aware of it too – I actually enjoy the juxtaposition. Consider this, if you have never tried sitting down with a lovely functional book made of the most elegant paper available and a writing instrument made for extended handwriting – you should do so – and soon. There is something in the motion of hand across a page that calls forth a graceful flow of words in a way that punching computer keys can’t. It is a wonderful sensory experience to observe the interaction of fountain pen ink with paper that has been created with consideration and mindfulness. Even if you don’t consider yourself a word-smith and you don’t like your own handwriting – it is a worthy endeavor to.
I have been a diarist for nearly twenty years – and somewhere along the line determined that I wanted to write in a body of my own creation. That began my path down the road of learning what worked for me and what didn’t. In that journey I’ve learned a lot about making a truly functional book – and I’ve come to know the intricate, individual personality of many different papers, learned their natures and what they will and will not endure. I’ve also noticed recently that many of my favorite vehicles for creating a satisfactory book have become less and less available. It bums me out – good thing I have a stockpile!
So, I’ve said all of this to simply say this – once in awhile it is good for you to walk away from your computer. Smooth your hand over the surface of a toothy sheet of fine paper. Pick up a pen, a paintbrush, a camera, read a real book. Experience the world through your own five beautiful senses. You might be surprised how much more vivid an actual sunset is than the one you were looking at last evening in Wikipedia!