THOUGHTS ON PEN AND PAPER?
February 5, 2021
In this month of love, I am sharing the things I hold dear and close to my chest. One of those things is writing. Not writing in the sense of telling a story, but the actual act of writing with pen on paper. There is something very therapeutic about jotting down on paper the thoughts that come into my head. I find it to be very calming. Writing with a pen on paper helps me to stop and focus on my thoughts and the things I want to do. When you write with a pen on paper you can't use a backspace button to backtrack and erase a mistake. If you do want to change something written, you either have to mark out the change of thought or mistake or either rip up the paper and start all over. If you are a Virgo, like me, having a line item or sentence marked out it irritating and visually unappealing. So when I jot something down it's a commitment that is thought out before it's committed to on paper with a pen. Maybe it's sort of a meditative process. Spending time with ourselves quietly thinking and jotting those thoughts down. I feel it helps to center me when I have many things rambling around in my head and helps me to prioritize.
I remember when I first developed a love for writing on paper with a pen. It was during my early Catholic schools days. I went to Catholic school most of my life. In the early years, back in the day, we actually had a class dedicated to the art of cursive writing. We spent an hour every day dedicating ourselves to developing and enhancing our handwriting skills. The class was called Basic Penmanship. We had notebooks especially for this class dedicated to helping children develop the art of cursive writing. First, we learned how to print letters, which was usually taught at home before we entered kindergarten. Remember the delight of our parents when we first learned to write our names? Our parents expressed the importance of having good penmanship. I believe I was in either the first or second grade when I began taking penmanship classes. We started learning to cursive by making connecting circles over and over in our penmanship books. The penmanship books had lines and we made connecting loops while staying within those lines. These loops eventually helping us to move forward in making our letters swerve and connected. As we mastered the swerve and connecting of letters we began to develop individual styles of cursive writing. We took a lot of pride in developing our style of cursive writing.
I'm pretty sure this class isn't taught in schools these days. Maybe it should be because cursive penmanship is an actual art form. Sort of an expression or reflection of personal style. Cursive writing use to reflect your gender and status in society. People took pride in their John Hancock's. People use to take note of other peoples handwriting. I know I've often been complimented on my handwriting and I always took pride in those compliments. I worked very hard and for many hours making sure I had good penmanship. I'm not sure how cursive writing is perceived in our modern culture. Maybe most people never write anything down. I know many people never even carry a pen. The digital age has moved penmanship and cursive writing to the back shelves which is a shame. How many people can even recognize without question the writing style or signatures of their children, husbands or wives, close family member or friends?
Over the years with the many improvements in technology I've attempted transitioning my thoughts from pen and paper into digital but it never seems to stick. Even if I do use my iPhone to quickly make a note of something inevitably I go back to that note and write it down on paper with a pen. When I type on the computer, even for this blog, it's generally the end result of jotting ideas and thoughts down on paper with a pen. I even use pen and paper to rewrite recipes because doing so helps me think about how I want to change a recipe. Writing on paper with a pen helps me to think about how to recreate and make a dish my own. Writing with pen on paper feeds my need to be creative and expressive.
Because of this love of writing on paper with a pen, I love a good notebook. Actually, I find I have way too many of them. So I assign different notebooks for different purposes. I use them to jot down just about everything. I write on paper with a pen, always medium point blue Bic, to make a list for groceries, recipes, things to do, bucket list down to the random thoughts that rummage around in my head. I'm pretty much addicted to writing. I even still keep a handwritten address book and calendar. And it's not to rebuke technology. I love technology and very adapt to using computers, iPad and my iPhone. I just have a love for writing things down.
This subject of writing and penmanship is probably something many of us never consider or think of when we think about things we love or things that help us. It's one of the things in life we take for granted. We forget that sometimes to sit with ourselves and our thoughts and commit them on paper can be cathartic. Remember when you were a kid in grade school before computers and you had to sit and write a story. The entire classroom was quiet with thoughts. It was so silent all you heard were pencils scratching the paper. But before everyone began writing they sat and thought about their story carefully thinking it through before committing it on paper. The engagement of the mind, thoughts and then written on paper with a pen require us to be connected to ourselves and an action.
February is a month or love and renewal. Take a quiet moment to sit with a cup of tea, coffee or lemon water and give in to your thoughts. It could be something serious or something silly. But take the time to commit those thoughts on paper with a pen. I hope you find it to be as soothing and cathartic as I do.
Wondering how important is writing? -
When was the last time we received a thoughtful handwritten note? When was the last time we wrote someone a handwritten note? How did it make us feel? My guess is - WONDERFUL!