Jessie: In New Hampshire where the weather can’t seem to make up its mind.
On January 23, National Handwriting Day, I posed a question on my Facebook page on the subject of handwritten notes. It produced a lively response from readers. Ever since I have been thinking about what people had to say about it all.
Although commentors were divided as to whether or not they still send handwritten notes the overall tone of the conversation leaned towards a sense of nostalgia for the practice of doing so. Several of the people who no longer communicate by hand seemed to regret that the practice is falling by the wayside. Maybe it is the historical writer in me that felt a little sad that there may be a whole generation of people who will not have newsy letters from elderly aunts and well-wishing cards from far-flung friends to keep amongst their treasures.
I think much of the reason for the trend away from handwritten correspondance has as much to do with the tools as it does with the perception of time saving or convenience. It is rather discouraging to go to the trouble of penning a note only to be confronted at your own less than perfect handwriting scratched down on a pulpy bit of paper with a ballpoint pen. There is nothing at all pleasurable about that experience!
But there is another way to go about things. As some of you may already know I am hopelessly addicted to fountain pens and all the assorted accessories that accompany them. What is there not to love? The variety of inks alone is a joy to consider! Scented inks, glittery inks, those made with iron gall. Waterproof inks and invisible inks and even those used with a broad nibbed pen for highlighting documents. And the variety of colors is so vast you are sure to find just the right one to use for any purpose or mood.
And then there are the pens themselves! There are extra-fine nibbed pens for those who revel in precision and italic stub nibs for those whose bent runs to exuberance. There are pens that have twist caps and a few that have a point that vanishes with the click of the thumb. Some are slim and some are like cigars in the size. Whatever would please you is sure to be available.
In a world that often feels fraught and hurried and filled to the scuppers with incivility there is something so delightful about sitting still for a moment or two with quality tools to express yourself with individuality and flair. Whether you are someone who writes for a living or someone who writes grocery lists on the backs of junk mail envelopes I hope you will take the time to treat yourself and someone you care about to your unique mark on the world very soon!
Readers, do you still write handwritten notes? What about thank you cards or even grocery lists?