Penmanship fading art form

No matter how old we get, most of us still appreciate the cards, letters, and calls we receive from friends and relatives during the holidays. For some reason, we don’t communicate with many of them during the year, thus, we really enjoy hearing from them about the year’s happenings.

This year, the woman from Ima fell a little farther behind than usual and ended up writing very few words in some of the cards. Because I didn’t type those words, the recipients were probably relieved that the notes were brief as my penmanship has declined from almost readable to almost illegible. I was remembering all the writing I once did by hand and came up with the notion that part of those unreadable words come from lack of practice.

For most of my life, I felt I needed to write everything with a pen before typing a final copy. The thought process didn’t seem to work well when I tried to type. A pen in hand just naturally seemed to generate thought. As a tremor took over a bit, I decided to try to type almost everything from the first effort to the final draft. Unfortunately, I still revert to the pen and paper when I want to do really serious writing. Of course, I am the only one who has to try to decipher those words, and that is good.

As I looked at the beautiful writing of some of my older friends, I realized that such writing will soon become a lost art because penmanship will no longer be taught. That really is sad. People won’t have the opportunity to feel the real thrill of creative writing with pen in hand. Some people are already complaining about the handwritten documents preserved by our government. They would much prefer that those faded pages be typed so they can be read more easily by the less literate readers.

Some of us will continue to appreciate the handwritten documents from centuries past and will hope that some people in the future will rediscover the joys of penmanship and the learning that comes about when a child first picks up a pencil to try to express himself.

In the meantime, let’s just enjoy staying in touch with each other in any way we can, even via old-fashioned handwritten letters. Let’s also look forward to another twelve months of friendship.

Each of you have a very Happy New Year.