Saturday, February 6, 2010

je reviens

Fragment of dream, noted 29 April 2006
Am asked to proofread a handwritten document done by a calligrapher in light blue ink. The chart or proclamation (or story of something) is to hang in my wood yacht (I think it should be framed). I peel back layers of tissue paper to try to make out what’s written without smudging or tearing it. I’m having trouble so the calligrapher herself takes a look. She sees a mistake already and says this was her first pass at the thing. She admires my pen, an ancient Osmiroid, I say, and she says something about the nib – the flow of the ink is unusual (?), not what you usually find.

Classified ad in The New York Review of Books, Feb. 25, 2010:
Real Writers Use Real Fountain Pens. Fountain pens bought, sold, repaired. Pen consultations, individualized nib therapy. Contact...

Notes from draft memoir
... there was my great infatuation with Mr. D. M., an English teacher with whom I took a creative writing class in tenth grade. He was a tall, well-built man, a Dartmouth graduate who wore hornrimmed glasses and was obsessed with fountain pens and calligraphy. I soon bought Osmiroid pens, various nibs, and bottles of ink, and (not unlike my own body) my pens were always leaking and the callus on the third finger of my writing hand became stained with ink that wouldn’t wash off. It was through my love for him that I learned to write – as long ago as that I needed a muse, or an ideal, male, adored reader to whom to direct my best, most heartfelt efforts. He was very patient and kind, considering how nakedly obvious my crush must have been. I used to bicycle past his house on High Ridge Road, a small 17th century red saltbox that he and his wife had restored. He was a Renaissance man. I was forever trying to catch a glimpse of him, and only occasionally did. I think he drove a VW too. I wrote essays for him, on any and all subjects...
Belle to former high school classmate, Mark G., 30 Sept. 2008
... I'm keeping myself busy writing (philosophical/poetic/romantic epistolary nonsense), and taking long walks in the woods most every day. So cool that you're still in touch with Dr. W [English teacher]. Pretty amazing, actually. I was not as close to her (at all) as you. I was more of a J. McW. girl (I look back on his American Studies course as an influence on my intellectual life), and I had the hugest crush on D.M. in 10th grade. He taught me to write, really. I took a writing class of his and, like Scheherezade, I devoted myself to writing an essay for him every night. He was very kind and indulgent, considering how dopey I was.

Notes of 12 December 2009
At the washing machine (in real time) I suddenly remember that last night I dreamt about Osmiroid pens, an article in the Times Magazine (I think) about them. How perfect they are. There was a large image of such a pen and I could barely make out the name (sort of like the je reviens on the blue bottle – a little hard to make out). I turn the page and there’s an image of an utterly crushed & destroyed pen – but after all that, it still writes.

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