Day 4: An Ode To Ink, Or The Plight Of Ink

A pen is nothing without the ink. Ink is champion here, not the pen. The pen is merely an ink delivery mechanism.

Ink has contributed and is linked to just about every major event in history. The foundations of our language, society and culture found their genesis with early forms of ink. Ink links present and past, the future with now. Its power to capture and convey ideas is in paralleled.

So why are we so cruel to ink in this modern day and age? I think about this more often than is likely healthy, but what we are doing to these pens is far from kind. The life of a pen is most often a life of neglect and doomed to almost certain future of unfulfilled potential.

There is only one honorable death for these pens and that is to be ceremonially discarded after a full life of service and with literally nothing left to give.

How many times have you actually ran out of ink?

Think about it… how many pens have you really ran down completely? I’m guessing most people will say none or can maybe stretch to cite a single instance where they have tossed a pen for a perceived depletion of ink.

Before I started journaling avidly I cannot say with any degree of certainly that I had ever used a pen to the point of running out of ink. I’ve had pens stop working or appear non-functional, but that is quite different than running out of ink.

Now an avid ink addict, I’ve experienced every form of pen failure, including the dreaded phantom ink phenomenon. What causes this is still a mystery, but I’ve had it happen countless times now with various ink cartridges.

How many people experienced this same frustration and just toss the pen? Especially these common single use pens which seem to be in great abundance in our world… I fear more pens are mistakenly discarded as being empty than actually meet that fate.

Consider the plight of ink in single use pens…

What percent of ink in your standard single use office class of pen goes ultimately unused.

For pens used at least once, I’m guessing 80% or more of the ink in these pens has and will go unused, tossed, lost or otherwise neglected over the last 10 years.

I can’t tell how many meetings I’ve been in where a brand new box of pens is brandished and confidently distributed among the attendees. Where are these pens going?

What is the journey of of these pens? How many of these stay or somehow end up back in a willing owners hand and end up as a fully spent ink? Not enough.

A silver lining for these pens…

Misery loves company and one silver lining of the common pens certain fate is that is some lucky pens are able to share the journey with their partner from birth, their lid, cover, cap or lid.

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November 2020 Daily Writing Challenge