Dino stopped by with this reflection:
In 2006 its hard to think about things your going to be passing along to the next generation.
Not a lot from the generations have passed down to me, and our culture is so fast, and so disposable…you're left wondering what is going to make it.
I remember hearing stories about grandparents passing down cars to first year college students. Does that happen anymore? Young people have jobs, and they have credit earlier and earlier…they have there own money…I don't think that many 18 year olds want Grandpa's Buick Roadmaster.
When I look at my stuff, my possessions if you will, there is not a lot that is specific to me. My journals maybe, but a narrative is something different. Especially one that dull. So I am left looking around my possessions thinking about what things are going to move past me, and what things are going to the resale store about 5 days after I am gone.
It is sort of morbid, and all tied up in the legacy concept. What we leave behind, what we give to others. How we see ourselves through the eyes of others. What we want the world to see us as.
But regardless of any of that stuff…I bought something this week that I think is going to be a generational thing. My friend Pat P., he built me pen. He made me a wooden pen. A pen of significance and weight, and permanance. It was a great thing.
The pen that I have is made from wood recovered from the bottom of Lake Superior. The refill is a Parker Jotter refill. The Jotter has been around for about 50 years I think, so I am confident in my abilty to get refills into the future.
The pen is a reflection of something I care for…the significance of the written word. Since I was 15 or so, I have been keeping a handwritten journal. I have kept them all, and they read like a document of my life. For 100 years I used a Uniball Micro as my writing tool. The reason being is it was NOT PERMANENT. I could find them at any Target or Office Depot accross America. When I was traveling, I knew I would not have to worry about them, they wrote all the time. Being a leftie like I am, I appreciated that the ink was quick drying, so it did not rub off on my hand.
The change to this new pen was marked by meeting Pat. The cool thing is in talking to Pat about the strange things I am interested in, we started talking about pens. He told me that he built pens. Initially I was not interested in it, as I have seen these pens on the desks of lawyers or whatever…the MontBlanc…the Cross…the whatever. My college buddy Mike Krull worked in a pen shop in Milwaukee, and he had amazing pens. Told stories of even more amazing pens.
But these pens had no significance for me. But with Pat's pen, I realized that it would be connected to my life. It would mark who I am. It would be something from this moment that would last forever. I would pass it along when I was gone. It was more than just a pen. It was a connection to the idea of a craftsman, to Lake Superior, this moment in my life in Wausau.
So thank you Pat. You might not know, but the pen is a big deal The fact that the pen will be with me forever, and so will this moment. So will this place. So will these people.