Recently, I received a letter in the mail from an old friend. After I got over the shock of a real letter in my mail box, rather than simply the standard bills and flyers, I tore open the envelope to find out what the latest news was and the shock continued.
The letter was hand written on gorgeous stationary. Unfortunately, I could only read about every other word. After deciphering the bulk of the letter I found myself thinking about the state of my friend’s handwriting, and then my own. What I discovered had me both laughing and cringing.
When you think about it, when was the last time you wrote something other than your grocery list? In my case, even that is digital now. I type everything, from letters to quick texts to shopping lists. When I have a question for my sister, I don’t leave her a note, I send her a message. It’s become so easy to do all of our writing and communication digitally that many of us have forgotten the art of penmanship.
Picture the calligraphy of the Middle Ages. Everything was so beautifully put to paper. Even 10 years ago we put effort into writing to each other, creating tangible records of our interactions and the events in our lives. Personally, I love the look of a well written letter on parchment.
I tried to create one after reading my friend’s letter and discovered that my cursive was just as bad, if not worse than his. And my printing, well, it wasn’t much better. I cite lack of practice for the disastrous outcome of my attempt. But it did remind me of how much I love the feel of pen sliding across high quality paper. Legible cursive writing is a gorgeous thing that we should all remember to use before it goes out of style forever.