writing sample

A few days back I wrote a piece about my reaction to hearing that kids aren't taught how to write cursive in school anymore.  In the process of thinking and writing about it and bringing it up at every social event in the past 10 days, it got me to thinking about something else.  I woke up one morning fresh from a dream. In the dream my grandmother was still alive.  This seems to be a recurring one.  What remained in the morning light was the image of her handwriting.  It lingered on the edge of my mind's eye. I kept frantically flicking my eyes back to what I remember of her penmanship.

I can remember its essence.  It was rigidly controlled but beautifully shaped and uniform.  It may have gotten a bit more wobbly over the years but its dignified and practised lines are instantly recognizable to me.

My grandmother wrote in a lot of my mother's books and there are notes and cards and letters and matchbooks around.  Now I'm determined to find them and trace my finger over those inky lines that once spilled out of her pen on to the page.  In some way, a document itself of how she approached her life, full of discipline, tightly controlled and with an appreciation of elegance.

I, like many youth, spent hours perfecting my script.  It started out backwards, moved on to bubble shaped letters and gradually evolved into what it is today.  I have to really concentrate to make it look like I want it to.  Day-to-day my handwriting is rather hard to read.  It is something I should take more care of though because each place I use it, I've come to realize, acts like a crumb left in my wake, marking the path I walk in the moonlight--the permission slips I sign, the cards I send, the notes I leave to myself.


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