A Necessary Indulgence

A Necessary Indulgence

By G. S. Norwood

I Always Wanted One of Those

Life is good, yeah? You’ve mastered working from home. You’ve successfully kept your social distance, and, so far, haven’t strangled your partner or any of your kids. You have behaved yourself. So you deserve a little treat, right? A small but oh-so-necessary indulgence, as a reward for making it this far through the pandemic.

But what kind of indulgence? Temptation is all around. You flip through a catalog and spot some fancy socks. Maybe surf the web, and see a gorgeous fountain pen. Or even go down a YouTube rabbit hole and find a video of someone striking a giant gong. And you think, “That would be SO COOL! I always wanted one of those!”


A Few of My Favorite Things

Now, I’ll be honest. I’m a self-indulgent person. I live alone. I’m not completely penniless. I can afford to reward myself with a necessary indulgence every once in a while. Nobody’s here to tell me no. The whole theory behind the old carrot and stick incentive plan is that sometimes, after that carrot has dangled just out of reach for quite a long while, we actually get to savor a big bite of the good stuff. So here are a few of my favorite necessary indulgences.

Number one is a good journal. I’ve kept a journal in one form or another since I was about twelve years old. I started out in a tiny ring binder, graduated to weekly desk calendars, then small, college-ruled spiral bound notebooks and hardbound sketchbooks. Sometime in the mid-1990s I went to the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth, Texas, where I met Mychal Mitchell, of Iona Handcrafted Books. And I decided to treat myself. Just this once.

Today Mychal is a friend and an Iona Journal has become a necessary indulgence.

Gigi's journal and pens, with a newly-opened box from Iona Handcrafted Books.
Journals are among my necessary indulgences (photos by G. S. Norwood; Journals by Iona)

One Thing Leads to Another

When you have an amazing journal, where you can record all your inner angst and triumph, you need an equally amazing pen. At least I do. I started school back in the days when cheap fountain pens were part of our regular school supplies. I don’t think I have any of those pens anymore, but I loved the flow of liquid ink in beautiful colors like Scheaffer’s Peacock Blue.

Sometime in the late 1990s I discovered the adult world of not-so-cheap fountain pens. Warren shared my passion for pens, and we gave each other many of them at Winter Solstice and on birthdays. Beautiful inks came along with the pens and these days I have . . . well. More than a few. They’re all I write with, now that I work from home. They bring me joy, although I’ve switched from Peacock Blue to Levenger Blue Bahama these days.

Fountain pens and inks, with a journal.
Fabulous pens and inks, including Blue Bahama ink from Levenger, a ceramic pen holder by Janet Rodriguez of Hart Street Pottery, and a journal from Iona Handcrafted Books.. (Photo by G. S. Norwood)

That’s SO COOL!!!

Which brings us around to that giant gong. My regular readers know that I work for the Dallas Winds. As a result, I know a lot of musicians, and those musicians have a lot of interesting connections. One of them has connections to Sabian, one of the top manufacturers of cymbals and gongs in the world. When I mentioned that I always wanted a gong, he hooked me up with a floor model/demo sale of Sabian gear following the annual Texas Music Educators Association conference, held in San Antonio every year.

Yeah. Deep discounts. All the accessories. I mostly use it to get my dogs’ attention when they’re wild to bark at the mailman. But I have it. And I hit it on a fairly regular basis. Because, you know what? It’s just SO COOL!!!!!

G.'s 26" Sabian Symphonic Gong.
Yes, I have my very own gong. And I love it. (Photo by G. S. Norwood)

Bottom Line

Life is short, my friends. Throughout our marriage I was eleven years younger than Warren. I am now five years older than he ever got to be. I am living in isolation in the midst of a pandemic that could kill me. You are too. So go ahead. Find your necessary indulgences. Buy the gong. Write the novel. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do. Enjoy the hell out of whatever time you have. We’ll all be the richer for it.


Many thanks to Sabian and You Tube for the gong video.

The still photos are all by G. S. Norwood. Re-post with credit and a link back, please!

Journals shown are by Iona Handcrafted Books. The pens are from many vendors (see hyperlinks in the text), but return-readers may recognize Janet Rodriguez’s ceramic pen holder from G.’s last blog post.

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