Reub's journey

23 February 2010


Ben saw our grocery list the other day and noted that both John and I wrote in cursive: Bread. Cream cheese. Bananas. Sooo quaint! (Dammit. Blogger doesn't even have a Lucida Cursive for me to mess with this list! I suppose that makes my [eventual] point.)

Anyway, Ben added to the list in his forced cursive "comestibles," a term from about 100 years ago.
Cursive, maybe handwriting itself, is outdated. I just need to face it.

Last month (January 23) there was a holiday that went mostly uncelebrated, possibly because it was about something rather boring, or maybe because it was at the inspiration of the Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association in 1977. The holiday was John Hancock's birthday, January 23, now and forever known as National Handwriting Day.

I had just cracked open an autograph book belonging to my great grandfather-in-law and was blown away by the script.

It was intimidating. I don't write like this. Pencils and Bic pens don't do this kind of writing very well, yet this doesn't seem like a very good excuse for bad handwriting or not writing at all. I decided to pen a letter to my mother (age 88) who, despite advanced arthritis, writes very well. It doesn't come easily to her and I know she sits down and labors over it, but that in itself says something. How many of us really care about this anymore? I mean, enough to sit down and painfully write out something elegant?

The above jpg is from the Sharpie blog. I find myself agreeing with this even though I know it was written to promote their company, and as you see--it is not in cursive. (However if you don't like Sharpies than there is something wrong with you.)

So. This past weekend I got out my best stationery and wrote, slowly and carefully, a two page letter to my mother. When I am 88 I hope I still want to write a pretty letter.


  1. I have sometimes thought about the loss of our ability to write with everything being done on keyboards...

  2. Handwriting is a lost art! I love looking through old letters and documents at the handwriting...and I love when I stumble on a good pen that makes handwriting a pleasure. Great post.

  3. I love writing by hand. I keep a journal, write notes to my roommates, even send actualy hand-written cards to friends.

    John Hancock's script is so beautiful, isn't it?

    Sometimes I like to think about the fact that until quite recently, every book ever written was written by hand. Isn't that something?

  4. I love handwritten letters. Eliza is so interested in cursive, which I love to encourage...

    I can dig through a box and recognize my grandparents' handwriting at a glance; and I keep all my notes from my mother, who has such beautiful puts me in touch (she types) with many I would otherwise not hear from, but I cherish the handwritten.

  5. Kerry, you have spoken to my heart. I care about handwriting and letter writing. I love to write in cursive and I am meticulous when it comes to writing letters. I want it to be perfection. But nothing tops the handwriting of the days of fountain pens.

    I used to write all the time. Unfortunaly, with the computer... I have gotten just a little bit lazy over time. But oh, how I love to make it personal with my own style, my own handwriting.

    I think the best gift in the world is to receive a penned letter from a friend or loved one.

    Great post!


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