I’ll be the first to admit that my truck might need to be washed. Drawn with a finger though the thick layer of pollen that has collected on the side panel was a fish. Like the ones the Jesus-minded stick to their cars. This one, though, smiled like a human as it looked at the hook that had been drawn onto it. To the fish, a hook represented happiness. Maybe.
Growing up, learning the mechanics of writing included a lot of tracing and special paper with blue and purple lines and endless instruction of designing a set of symbols and arranging them in an order. Now it was language. Then it was cursive – a classic teaching of how to space letters and write quickly.
They didn’t teach it, but cursive turned into script. The special construction of characters that was unique to each writer. Cursive was the precursor to handwriting, which was a unique blend of individual art from each person that was impossible to replicate. Handwriting defined you. In a way, it still does.
Nowadays, handwriting doesn’t have any merit in schools. Cut away to make more time for test preparation. New curriculums designed around technological literacy. Why write a note when you could just text it? Why bother learning to write at all when Siri can type it in for you? The development of a writing skill set – forming letters into words in a rote, repetitive manner. That is still very much there and alive. Skip the cursive and tend to skip the handwriting.
Handwriting is an excuse to find a nice pen and ruin over dozens of pages with a weighty ink. Maybe we don’t really need that after all.
Emails get lost in a sea of crap that we could spend a lifetime unsubscribing from and never to the bottom of. We can save a text message, but it looks like every other one we get. A handwritten love letter has a strange way of standing the test of time. A handwritten love letter lasts exponentially longer than the romance that inspires it. Living in the back of a sock drawer, unfolded and read and refolded a dozen times through.
Love letters are never thrown away. They are usually burned. I can’t help but think this a direct result of the handwritten component.
Handwriting is your chance to send a message through art.
What kind of message are you sending nowadays?