Writing culture

Almost the first thing I did upon returning home after my last day working was emptying the contents of my twenty-five year old, well-worn and creased tan leather portfolio that Arlyn had given me. (She has good taste and people often compliment me on the occasional shirts she buys me).  I kept this portfolio in use with its accordion-style design, its zippered compartments and lean look for a good long time.  I like holding on to things that serve me well, but sometimes I over do it, as I’ve been told.

Before tossing away my portfolio into the kitchen trash can, I first removed everything from its various zippered compartments: Boston and Massachusetts transit road maps, various pens picked up at trade shows, antacids and Tylenol, cheap notepads, Manila file folders, crumpled news articles, large paper clips, a matchbook, Xerox copies of “Google search tips and techniques”, and related paraphernalia.  I saved a few of these things for possible future use, and then finally stuffed the empty portfolio into the trash.  Good riddance.

I also tossed the most recent Harvard Business Review, a subscription that my manager, the CEO, gave me, but I rarely read.  I hadn’t read much of the last few issues, actually, and I was not interested in it at this time.   Throwing away something as valuable as the coveted HBR would never have been my practice several years ago.

This occurred despite the fact that one of my joys in life is reading books and being educated by reading the New York Times and certain journals.  There’s a website — http://www.aldaily.com that provides free access to newspapers of the world, literary and academic journals and the like, which I frequent to see what’s covered in various media.  How’s Trump’s escapades being reported on in Jerusalem?  Japan?  Scandinavia?  How is USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor writing about it, or is it?

I’m just not interested in reading the latest business books anymore.  I may be interested in 2019, but I need a break.

In the last few years I spent my weekend free time reading of interests I would pursue when retired; it’s time has come.

Pens and art materials are my interest too, harking back to my early years.  In March while in New Orleans, after listening to a jazz band parked in the street, I entered a stationary store and picked up a copy of PEN World, “the journal of writing culture” which featured an article on vintage Waterman pens and nibs.  Later this month, I’ll be attending a lecture on ‘nibs for drawing and calligraphy’ at the Boston Pen People show.  Boston Pen People is an organization of people from all walks of life who are interested in pens, writing, pen making and repair, paper, illistration and collecting.  I’m looking forward to the lecture as I further my self-guided education in writing, pen and ink illustration and technical drawing.  I eventually want to  practice pen and ink drawing, and to a lesser degree, collect fountain pens.

Published by Richard Halpern

Retired (but busy) after a lengthy career in business marketing, communications and research. Worked at four start-ups and one turnaround. Now volunteer doing prospect research for a climate activity and social advocacy non profit, amongst other things.

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