The Writing on the Wall



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

I was about 5 years old when my parents had people over, with younger children the myself and we were profoundly bored. I asked the adults how we should spend our evening and they told me to play teacher. What they didn’t expect, was that I had used the bedroom wall as a blackboard (or white board in this case).  I don’t remember being grounded for it so it can’t have been that bad. Be careful what you wish for I guess 🙂

I have a hard time believing the written word will ever fully be replaced by the computerized type-writer we are currently sitting in front of. The is something so satisfying about seeing ink flow across a page, about the swing of your wrist when you render each individual letter into being. Within your handwriting lies a portion of your identity, that early entity of your being when you discovered this practice that has existed since the advent of time. Sure, not everyone was taught how to write over the past centuries and in many lost corners of the world illiteracy is still a fact. Yet no parent who has ever learnt the art and craftsmanship of the written word will ever have an illiterate child. Language is a gateway to the world, to possibilities (a fact Audrey Hepburn becomes painfully aware of in My Fair Lady). Within the language you use lies your education, your love for the vast expanse of the vocabulary available to us. It is similar with the nature of your handwriting. Up-slanting suggests you are hopeful, the amount of pressure with which you deliver the word onto paper is a sign of the intensity, the emotion behind your words. The size of your vowels and consonants shows your attention to detail, your state of relaxation or may even be a harbinger of illness (a change to micrographia is associated with Parkinson’s disease). Right or left handed becomes a central component of your identity before even reaching first grade. It is a reflection of where you are at in your life, whether it’s that moment when you’ve found your signature, and frankly I don’t know many thirty year olds who still dot their i’s with hearts, a fad which may have been very popular in first grade or on valentine cards.

So as certain as I am that real novels will never fully be replaced by E-book readers, I am equally sure that the written form is an art that may become more tedious and rare in some persons’ minds, but is a time-less tradition that not only illustrates our individuality, but is also a defining feature of our humanity.


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