Live the Life Creative 002 : National Stationery Week

Did you know that today is World Stationery Day? Until two weeks ago, I didn't even know there was a day (or an entire week for that matter...guess what? It's this week!) that celebrated writing letters. I happened upon an Instagram post by Sarah Becvar and she informed me of this lovely idea! By the way, click over to her Instagram account. She does delightful embroidery on note cards. If her work doesn't make you want to pick up  pen and write a note, well, you may want to check your pulse!

I LOVE writing letters. A friend of mine and I exchange letters once a month. I have another friend who's suggested if every my fingers itch to send a little post I should send it to her (and I really, really need to do that!) 

There's something beautiful about receiving a card in the mail. A real, honest to goodness card. You know, a piece of paper encased in an envelope with YOUR name and address HAND WRITTEN on the front. Something that's NOT a bill or a flyer for a new appliance store or dentist opening up in the neighborhood?

Yes. 

The first thing many of you might ask is, "Why? Why in this digital age should I waste what little time I have to sit down and write what I could text?"

The answer is simple: how many times have you received a text and thought, "Wow. How nice it was for that person to take 22 seconds and send me a terribly impersonal message with misspelled words, missing vowels, and some strange amalgam of symbols and consonants that, to some, constitute 'text-speak'?"

I'm going to guess never.

Yes, it's nice when someone sends you a, "Hey, how are you? I've been thinking about you" text. It's so convenient to shoot someone a message to make sure you're meeting at the cafe at 11 instead of 10. Email is fantastic for work! It keeps introverts like me away from telephones, *shudder*. But if you really, really want to catch up, sit down, pull out a nice piece of paper, a lovely pen, and write down your thoughts.

There's a war being waged against handwriting. Many of you are probably aware that public schools have stopped teaching handwriting (or cursive as we old folks call it). It's been said by folks with heftier degrees than mine that it's pointless to have children learn how to write in cursive. Pointless for them to learn the mechanics of their own hands and arms. Pointless for them to see their name, their NAME, written in whatever gorgeous or scrawling or chicken scratch or abstract or calligraphic handwriting that comes out through their fingers.

Ugh. Really? Handwriting is extremely personal. I can pick out my mother's handwriting, my husband's handwriting, even my father's handwriting from a stack of papers a decade or more old. 

No one recognizes your typing. Because it all looks the same. Are you the same as everyone else? Are you? 

No. I didn't think so.

And THAT'S why we need to promote handwriting. It MATTERS. It's individualistic. It's an art form. Heck, it's ART. And art, if I may straddle two soapboxes at once, is also under attack at a national level. The National Endowment for the Arts is being scrutinized and a band of highly unenlightened individuals would rather pump funds (funds that come from YOU and ME, mind you) into such marvelously glorious funds such as defense spending and siphon it out of the funds that encourage education, art, music, and science. In other words, let's take away the nation's ability to promote beauty and creativity, free thinking and individuality and hand weapons of mass destruction to the uneducated masses.

That's scarier than a telephone to an introvert. Heck, that's scarier than forcing this introvert to go to a rave on New Year's Eve!

Forgive the rant. The point of this entire post is to say this: support the ARTS! Write your memoir. Pen a story. Paint a picture. Take out a piece of paper and send your mother/aunt/uncle/best friend a note that says, "Hey! I think you're important enough to spend a few extra minutes writing to and a few extra cents to slap on a stamp and whisk a lovely bit of papery goodness your way."

When you do something with kindness, love, and passion that's art.

Even something as little as a handwritten note.

Happy National Stationery Week and World Stationery Day!








xo

PS: How do YOU feel about sending and receiving letters? What about handwriting? Did you know the National Endowment for the Arts was under attack (again)? Do you disagree with me and think that he NEA SHOULD be de-funded? Come on writers, let me know what you think!

Comments

  1. I love receiving letters and cards, but I admit that I'm terrible about writing them. Even though I'm on the introvert side of the scale, I'm just barely over the line so although I struggle with phone calls and meeting new people, I did stand up in church the other day to thank everyone for their get well cards - because I will probably miss someone when I send out thank you cards.
    However, I do write some letters sometimes. It just takes me a while. My handwriting, once considered good enough to get high praise from my teachers, is not hardly legible due to some injuries and old surgeries (yes, I have had 16 surgeries in my life - I'm a walking medical textbook). Sometimes I hand-write something and then type it to make sure that the person reading it can actually make out all of the words.
    But at the end of the day (and my overly verbose comments), I think that handwriting should still be taught as an art and as a necessary skill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I welcome verbose comments :)

      Writing letters and stories (yes I do hand write all my stories before I type them) takes me a while. I have bursitis in the my shoulder and elbow of my write arm and that, along with the fibromyalgia, makes it painful to write sometimes. But I love it!

      I can't imagine not using a pen on paper to catch my random thoughts! I always type them up or take a picture and email it to myself but I just LOVE the feel of paper and ink!

      Delete
  2. We send cards and always hand write a note with them.

    I just don't understand how people will sign documents anymore. How will people sign visa receipts or checks or contracts?

    I still hand-write all of my stories before entering them into the computer. And even though it's not cursive, some slips in. Lower case "s" is so fast when you're writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's something I've wondered about as well. If people aren't taught handwriting, how can they sign important contracts, etc.? Are we going to revert back to making an "X" in the signature line?

      Oh I do the same thing! I LOVE handwriting my stories first. It keeps me connected to it, rooted in it.

      Delete

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