Friday, February 16, 2007

Mama Says Om - Letter(s)

My thoughts go drifting back many years to early days at convent school; to the varnished wooden desks with their hinged lids, ink wells, glass bottles of ink and fat fountain pens, to lined notebooks (or scribblers) in which we practiced writing our vowels and consonants in a perfect cursive script. My own efforts were anything but perfect of course, and scribbler is an excellent word for the notebooks in which I was beavering away, but I delighted in the texture of the paper, the fragrance of the ink in its little pot, the contentment of holding a plump fountain pen in my hand.

Then there was the magic of books - I learned to read a few years before I went off to convent school, but long before that, I would sit quietly for hours with books, touching the paper, looking at the shapes of the letters on the pages and tracing them with pudgy fingers. I badgered my elders until they finally caved in and taught me to read, and they probably did so just for a little peace and quiet.

Books, words and letters were magical - they were sheer incandescent magic to my child self, and they still are. I often use a fountain pen (and purple or peacock blue ink) for writing letters and cards, although my handwriting is truly appalling in these arthritic elder days, and the passionate delight in books, fonts, deckle edges and fine creamy paper remains. In my next life, I would like very much to be a wandering scribe, a creator of fonts, a paper maker or a book designer, and one of the finest gifts one can bestow on her children or grandchildren (or great grandchildren even) is the love of words and letters.

Written for for the lovely mamas at Mama Says Om.


Suzie Ridler said...

The actually art of handwriting is disappearing, isn't it, as a result of computers. I make sure to write in a journal at least once a day, this is a skill that should not be forgotten even though it's hard on my muscle-cramped hands. I want them to remember.

Tabor said...

I used to have very clean and round handwriting. I think that it has become scratchy not due to my age but due to how busy I am and how little I write for any important reason.

Anonymous said...

"Books, words, and letters were magical." That's my favorite phrase. This post made me think of the blessings bestowed upon me by my bookish parents. Sometimes I think that the reason I read so much is because I saw people reading all around me. You are so right to evoke the physical aspect of books. This is such great writing.

dmmgmfm said...

I love the bird pictures. We've only had a few robins and the usual hawks, eagles and canadian geese. I am longing for spring and your photos give me hope that it will be here soon. I hope you get a break from the snow. I know how tiring it can be.