These beautiful words

I am beginning to think that I am the only one alive who still writes in cursive.

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Talk about your dying art.

And it makes me sad.

You can wax poetic about the information age all you want, but the fact of the matter is so many individuals (of all ages) just cannot hand-write – either for the life of them, or, well, because they just don’t know how.

(I won’t even get into what this means for spelling and grammar because that is a chestnut for another fire, er – time.)

I can remember being a little girl and wanting so badly to learn how to write in cursive.

As a kid, I was always on the move, and when I wasn’t practicing my times tables in the car on the way to piano – no joke, I can remember reciting my sevens over and over again while trying to memorize all of my scales and arpeggios – I was badgering my mother to teach me how to make my g’s look just like hers.

(My mom makes great, GREAT g’s.)

I finally wore her down and she bought me a booklet that taught me the letters, and gave me the means to practice them over, and over, and over again.

I pretty sure I finished all the worksheets in the space of a week, because once I began to get a feel for the English cursive alphabet, I was hooked.

It was like graphology crack, only for an eight year old.

(Graphology Flintstones crack?)

I loved the beautiful lines, and the dramatic loops; the way my letters ran together, and how the ink didn’t.

Because I was also a dancer, I imagined my words to be a series of steps, intricate and dazzling, but outwardly effortless.

Hand writing always made me feel so very posh. Like I somehow wrote myself into a royal lineage every time I signed my name, or marked down the date at the top of my in-class quizzes and essays.

As I grew up, I could never understand how my classmates steadfastly clung to their printing, unwilling to hand-write at any cost.

It seemed archaic.

And wrong.

I was astounded to find out at university that fellow students would actually print during midterms and finals.

Didn’t that take forever? Wouldn’t that cramp your hand twice as fast?

Why oh why would anyone forsake the promised script? Who were these non-disciples of the cursive way?

The job I had whilst in grad school required me to write a final exam (very top secret stuff here folks) and afterwards my examiner approached me to tell me that out of all forty candidates, I had been the only one to hand-write my answers.

I remain to this day, shocked, appalled, and just a little bit smug.

(Just kidding. I remain only two of those things.)

In terms of my relationship with writing these days, well, my favourite letters remain ‘r’ and ‘m’ – I like the way they feel in my hand and the way they glide away from my pen.

I love writing cards for loved ones, signing my name in wedding guest books, and filling out comment cards at conferences.

I like to think that I leave a little piece of myself every time I write, whenever I write.

And I look forward to being an old woman, sitting at her desk.

Smiling, I will put pen to paper.

And I will remember.