“We must powder our wigs; that is why so many poor people have no bread.”
― Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I only have a few days left before I retire. I didn’t want any celebration or fuss – I simply wanted to not show up on the appointed and anointed day. But a handful of coworkers chipped in (the days when a company rewarded someone that has come to work for over two decades with a gold watch or something are long, long over) and bought me a present.
It was a pen, a Japanese Platinum #3776 Century Urushi Maki-e.
I was speechless. This is not a cheap gift. And it was so thoughtful – If you gave me a blank check and told me to buy myself something, regardless of cost – this would have been it (I realize there are much, much more expensive Maki-e pens out there – but I would be scared to even touch something like that). I love the cigar-shaped pens. I love the gold Japanese nibs (Pilot is supposed to be smoothest, Sailor the most feedback – but Platinum is right in the middle) – this one is a medium, which means it is very smooth and a joy to write with. It even has a technological advantage – a slip-and-seal cap that is supposed to keep the nib wet for two years. I find that claim a bit much – but an instant starting pen is important to me and this one is.
The Urushi lacquer and Maki-e artwork is stunning (it is the modern “screened” Maki-e instead of hand drawn – but I don’t care). It is the Sansui design of boats, rocks, and flowering plants… with some cool gold birds flying across the top and, best of all, a gorgeous blood-red rising sun peeking out from the clip. The nib is a big #5 14K gold, with a simple design and a stylized Mount Fuji straddling the tines (the reason the pen is called #3776 is that is the height of Mount Fuji in meters). I never really thought about a pen like that – I never would be able to spend that kind of money to myself. I’ve inked it up with some Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki blue ink and can’t keep my hands off it.
It was very emotional for me to get such a thoughtful gift. I know it’s only “a thing” but it is an exquisite thing given as a gift, as a remembrance.