The Ritual of Life

One of the many things that I enjoy about Fountain Pens is refilling them. I enjoy refilling them because I can recognize that I’m not just loading ink into a pen – which I most assuredly am. More importantly, I’m loading that pen with Potential. I could write anything with that ink. Go anywhere.

But that is the subject of another post.

What I like most about refilling my pen is the ritual of it.

First I gather my tools: The pen, the ink, my pen cloth (which is just a regular piece of cloth that I’ve set aside to be the cloth I use to clean off the pen after it’s been refilled), and a place to work.

Then I go about refilling the pen. How you do this will vary from pen to pen, but the important thing is that I am fully, completely, 100 percent present in the moment when I’m doing it.

There are no stray thoughts, no looking ahead to what I’m going to do next after refilling the pen, not even any music playing on the mental jukebox – which, if you know me at all, should speak volumes about how focused I am.

Why such focus?

I don’t want to spill any ink. While I can imagine larger messes, I cannot imagine a more longer lasting mess than a toppled bottle of ink.

I’ve never experienced that, for which I am thankful, so I’m very deliberate, and I am very present in the moment, and I love it. Why? Because I’m there. In the Now. There’s no worry, no doubt, no past, no future, none of that distracting bullshit. It’s just me, the pen, and the ink. It’s the physical sensation of the pen in your hands, The sound as you draw in the ink, the smell of the ink in the bottle, the feel of the cloth as you carefully clean the nib, the feel and the sound of the test scritch on a scrap piece of paper.

It’s getting all the senses engaged. What about taste, you might ask? Taste and smell are closely related. If I can smell the ink, or the surrounding room, I’m getting a taste of it as well.

Fully present. Fully engaged. A full pen.

I posit that we can all expand upon that. We can bring that deliberate presence, that focus, into other tasks. Washing the dishes, walking the dog, cooking (you want to talk about ritual…). Bring your focus in, move your body and your mind fully, intent on completing a task.

Be in the Now. Be engaged – utterly.

I think you’ll find that even the most mundane tasks will show you much that you’ve been missing.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.


If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Crimson Whisper: A Wainwright and Holliday Adventure

Weird Wild West


Grease Monkeys

Predators in Petticoats