Penmanship is the art or skill of writing by hand.
In a modern day Faustian bargain, we trade our ink pens for ergonomic keyboards, and with that we offer our handwriting, something that expresses so much of ourselves. We trade our need for solitude for digital connectivity, and with that we offer our mental health. I could go on, but let me return to penmanship.
I have noticed how my handwriting, which was always elegant, has started to look like I am writing all my to-do- and shopping lists whilst commuting by train. This has saddened and annoyed me so much because I don’t like losing a skill or under-preforming. Add to this our collective ‘I have had it with computers, data-grabbing companies and digital involvement‘ statement, and what follows is a rescue plan springing into action. More in this a bit later.
There is a movement trying to win back our old fashioned ways of living and lost skills. We love to return to our kitchens for slow-cooking. We find ourselves buying typewriters again, sewing machines, and pots for growing our own herbs. We collectively sign up for yoga and mindfulness workshops. We start weaving, knitting, embroidery and calligraphy all because we have enough! Enough of the feeling that we become more dull with every new smartphone and every year that passes using the internet. There is hardly any joy in internet use anymore. It doesn’t feel like a museum or library anymore but as the annoying evil eye of Sauron or like a Harry Potter Death Eater.
As a result we collectively start to withdraw from the internet and we reclaim our peaceful and more creative lives, in which our bodies are involved in our actions, by exercising our handwriting, growing our own sprouts, make our own cloths and weaving our own blankets.
About a year ago I bought a notebook and penned down my first alphabet since a long, long time ago (it looked disastrous). Followed by my name (over and over again), longer sentences, to-do lists and words that entered my mind. My handwriting improved very quickly. So fast, that I kindly advise you not to say that your handwriting skills are beyond repair. They aren’t, but training is most likely needed. Do it! And I assure you that it feels like the ‘New Yoga’, like a celebration or a joyful meditation.
Update on one of my former Sewing A Mandarin Duck posts: