Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Happy New Year! Handwriting anyone…

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Yesterday’s news feed touched on a subject that is near and dear to my heart: “The Art of Handwriting…” and its resurgence over the past few years. I nearly jumped for joy when I read: “What people are looking for, in all aspects of their lives, is authenticity in things,” says Beeson. Handwriting is about “the fuzzy feeling you get when you realize that someone actually sat down and thought of you, or when you write something for yourself,” Julie Mancini, Sip & Script’s co-founder, says.

Here is a link to the full article if you are interested: https://medium.com/s/story/the-return-of-handwriting-8a6e388bd72d

I was so excited to read the good news: Cursive Handwriting is enjoying a comeback and two states in the US have already put it back into the school curriculum. To me there is nothing more satisfying than putting pen to paper and watching the fountain pen nib create fine and bold marks on the fresh page of my journal.

Here are some of personal insights: Receiving a handwritten note during the holiday season, a birthday or anytime in between creates a sacred moment.  As an example (and how timely it was!): I stopped by the post office yesterday to pick up several envelopes containing the registration for Art Quilt Campus 2019 but what continues most memorable was the personal handwritten note that accompanied the documents of one participant. I knew instantly that the person sending the card had taken the time to sit and put her sentiments and good wishes for the New Year on the blank pages. It wasn’t just a quickly scribbled “Season’s Greetings” and a signature, it was a genuine note that addressed me personally.

I believe that many of you following my blog will agree: Many social media trends have destroyed the “real” connection between our members of society. For years I have been undecided about the value of Facebook (yes, I still have trepidations!) and its easy opportunities to just join in with the masses to send “Happy Birthday” greetings in the way of an animation or the canned message that pops up when the reminder appears on one’s personal page. Having just lived through another birthday last week I could not shake an empty feeling despite the numerous wishes that kept appearing on my Facebook account page on the day and the day after. I completely understand sending a quick birthday message to someone you don’t know well, I do that too sometimes. However, my close friends and those I have a real emotional connection with will always receive a personal message in the form of a card, a phone call, an email or a private message via Facebook Messenger instead. Perhaps I am really old-fashioned when I don’t participate in today’s new trends but I will stand firmly by my conviction that a hand-written note has soul quality.

It feels good to uncap my favourite LAMY fountain pen, check the ink level, position the nib at the right angle on the white page carefully balancing the pen’s weight while centering my thoughts. It is a meditative experience, a ritual. Writing a note to a friend means I am completely focused on that friend at that moment. It takes effort but from that effort also springs joy and a sense of satisfaction! I love the art of calligraphy and all through my schooling in Germany neat and clean handwriting was important. Whenever a notebook was full with regular subject matter we were not to discard it until the white space was filled with calligraphic marks. I admit, at the time I thought it was a bit of a chore. These days I yearn for the luxury of time to embark on filling notebooks with calligraphy. My handwriting skills have suffered due to the overuse of typewriters (yes, I am of that generation…) and the computer keyboard at present. I have discovered that using my fountain pen instead of a ballpoint model makes a huge difference in how I put down cursive lettering. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to read that classes and workshops in hand lettering are enjoying great popularity. There is hope!

On the flip side, I hear arguments like “Who has time?” and “Have you checked the cost of postage lately?” or “Why should I do it if I don’t get an answer?” Embrace the attitude that you are brightening the recipient’s day with your handwritten gift. Give without expectations! One never knows if that particular note will just be THE reason to push through a sorrowful moment… a gray day filled with sadness! We all have them and subsequently we all love the personal touch a handwritten note brings us!

As the article says:: Handwriting is enjoying a revival! How about joining this wonderful and meditative practice? I am encouraged that so many of us are returning to a more connected and mindful way of life! I am making a personal commitment to my friends, the environment, and improve our health. Last year I shifted my focus back to the home, my kitchen, creating wholesome, nourishing meals, reducing plastic and clothing waste. This year I am committing to deepening my friendships by staying in touch and sending handwritten personal notes more often. How do you feel about this subject?

Leave your comments below and let’s connect with a friend! Looking forward to listening to your personal insights.

This entry was published on January 6, 2019 at 1:34 pm. It’s filed under Art Quilt Campus, Contemplative art practice, Creativity Update, In the News, Journaling, Motivational, Recycle, Refocusing Creativity, Repurpose & Re-Create, Reuse, Sharing Resources, sharing touching the soul, Something to Smile About, staying in touch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Happy New Year! Handwriting anyone…

  1. Cathy Willoughby on said:

    I’m in the middle of a deep clean of my sewing room and sorting through piles of paper. I opened one notepad and instantly recognized my mother’s handwriting. She’s been gone 5 years now and hadn’t written at all in her last few years. Even though it’s only a list of shopping expenses I set it aside to share with my sister. My own handwriting has deteriorated badly but I still write notes in birthday cards etc.

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    • Isn’t it amazing how a loved one’s handwritten notes and humble lists make us stop and ponder! I have my grand-mother’s hand-written cookbook (and her script was in the Gothic style, very difficult to decipher). Every time I open it I am transported back to her kitchen where we spent many Saturday afternoons baking for Sunday afternoon coffee time! Good memories!

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      • Laurie on said:

        my father has been gone 22 years, but I’ve hung onto such ordinary things as herb jars and old canning lids simply because he wrote the labels. he had great penmanship, and these items are just one example of things that keep him present in my life.

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      • Laurie, that‘s beautiful! Such treasures!!!

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  2. Jackie Van Fossen on said:

    The Edmonton Calligraphic Society teaches beautiful handwriting – also Red Deer and Calgary have calligraphy clubs. I am sure Sk has them as well. Try them out!

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    • Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, we have a number of award winning calligraphers in SK and I am sure there are guilds but I just don’t relish the long drives, especially in winter. I don’t feel I need lessons as I have taught calligraphy in the past. I just need to revisit some of the basics to bring my hand-writing back on track. When going to Saskatoon I usually stop into SoulPaper to check out new trends and stick up on supplies. They offer a treasure trove of inspiration!

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  3. I’m currently reading a novel entitled “The Weight of Ink”. The story is set in the late 1600s about a female scribe. It is very good but I have to admit it was the title of the book alone that first drew me. Early into the book there is a paragraph describing the beauty of handmade paper…so maybe that grabbed hold of me too :).

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  4. Katina on said:

    I totally agree. However, I have always wished that I was taught penmanship. My left handed backhand writing leaves much to be desired. Important words for me this year are health and communication.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looks like we are on the same wavelength, Katina! And just remember – a handwritten note is special whether the sender has practiced calligraphy since childhood or not… it’s more about making time to create the note! Here is to a more personal interactions in 2019.

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