Thursday, October 13, 2005
The Written Word
I love handwriting; the flow of pen across colorful stationery or at the bottom of a sentimental greeting card. From the beginning of time it was our way of communicating, of reaching out to another heart with words of inspiration, encouragement and love.
My paternal grandmother wrote with a backwards slant, her words hovering low at the bottom of holiday messages in thick, blue ink; her left-handed, unique cursive writing. Mother's letters are written, always, with a black, fine point pen; her penmanship graceful and filled with words of beauty and hope. My brother, Keith, mimics my dad's handwriting with capital block letters that speak of strength and goodness while Wayne, my oldest brother, writes in a creative flourish of energy. Each of my sisters, Kathie and Julie, have similarities in their writing yet spotlight their own differences in unique ways. My children add drawings as their penmanship changes from year to year along with the rest of them, and my husband's lovely words always bring a quickening to my heart.
Penmanship, though still taught as part of the elementary curriculum, falls away in high school as papers are tapped out on compact keyboards. Computerized fonts have replaced the proud, scripted lettering of days gone by. Even our mail has changed. In an age where emails knock at our online mailboxes, a hand-written letter in a stamped envelope is a rarity; a treasure amongst the bills and advertisements.
I miss the flow of ink on paper; the beautiful loops of cursive "J's" and "L's" upon crisp, lovely sheets with monograms at the top and a spray of posies across the bottom. A letter is not just news, but the personal touch of time spent with pen in hand as a loved one contemplates, reflects, shares.
So as the weekend approaches and we begin shifting down from the fast lane, I pen this letter, sending it out into the world for you, my dear friends: