Not A Wasted Word

My handwriting is me. I know they say you can learn a lot about a person from the way they write, but that’s not how I mean it. I mean it is me.


If seen from afar, the paragraphs are neat. Organized and normal and satisfying enough. You come a little closer and you can see the sometime wobbly loops of the ‘g’s and the ‘y’s—but it is still neat.

Closer still and you can see that some words are in place, but others are lifted slightly off those lines drawn on the paper; few words here and there, floating in the limited white expanse between the guidelines (is that a pun? I think it could be a pun). The ‘r’s look rushed and are rarely ever recognizable. Some people like them; some can’t be bothered to squint over them long enough for enlightenment to strike.

Start reading what has been written and occasionally you’ll find a word is missing, not big ones, but a ‘they’ or an ‘are’ or something like ‘upon’ here and there. Not intentional or due to mere carelessness–swish, flick, dot, dash, hurry, hurry to pen down everything before it is buried until the deceptively light, seemingly innocent sands of time–the hand can barely finish scribbling one word before the next five flash in front of it.

Sometimes elegantly cursive, sometimes the practical ELT (sometimes both in the same sentence), it’s all over the place. But not in a way that’s obvious to everyone—you have to know to look for it, and once you do, you see it everywhere. In the ‘T’ s and the curled ‘F’s, the ‘i’s with large circles for dots, the ‘of’’ which looks like a vintage wig. It’s all there, right there. Deceptive and visible only to those who know.

All of my work starts off careful, calculating and perfect. No wobblies, no stubborn floating words–write slow-(slower!)-pay attention, don’t take your mind off it, look where that loop goes. Decide which handwriting to use today, which one to hide away until you know its better-(pay attention, don’t wander off)-that one’s not right, one clean stroke and it falls dead, no longer influencing the image on the whole-(another one right there there)-cut, and slash–look where you’re going with that hand of yours, but can’t keep up, it’s not like typing, the pen is too heavy for the hand to be able to flit through here and there with clean strokes, and the wobbles come-(look)-steady, slower, there.

Wobbles and strikes and floats and clean, perfect letters. Bound into the white fibres by the ink-veins running deep and sure.

Yours Truly,


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