I am a big fan of dip pens and ink. I love the process of cleaning the nib, finding the best color ink for the words to be penned, and baptizing the tip with chromatic potential. It is the next best thing to being able to head to a scriptorium myself and illumine the Word.
I like manual typewriters too. There is something about the satisfying whack of steel on paper, laying down its mark in the service of the Word. It is the next best thing to setting type with the colonial printers who painstakingly cranked out their broadsheet objections to taxation without representation.
I also like video cameras and computers. Last night I talked to a friend in Mexico for over two hours for free…we could see each other plain as day and hear each other’s voices. It was the next best thing to being able to laugh with her in the same room, to speaking of dreams and somedays with her in the same space, and to giving her an actual hug…and it was fantastic
Sometimes the next best thing is nearly perfect and completely wonderful.