My interest in writing non-fiction, well a memoir actually, has taken over a portion of my brain, so I scoped out the local library this past week for research. One of the books I just finished reading was Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas.
This little book is beautifully written, but the best thing is the writing prompts she includes along with experiences, whether her own or from her students, which show how the littlest idea can induce a memory. One prompt that stuck out to me was: ‘write two pages about a skill painfully acquired and now no longer needed.’
The first thing that popped into my head was cursive. The memory I have of learning to write cursive has faded, but I can still remember the practice sheets with the three lines: two solid and one dotted down the middle to keep my writing straight.
Hours were spent agonizing over and perfecting each letter with the right angle or the correct height. It seemed that learning cursive was the most important part of school. Nothing else mattered. But now, the lack of use has made it obsolete in my life. The only thing I ever use cursive for now is when I sign my name.
Of course, my writing is abhorrent and could be taken for cursive, but it’s just a string of letters that connect because I’m too lazy to pick up my pen between each stroke.
But cursive is beautiful with its loops and sweeping arches. I remember when I was able to write each letter even though they were not perfect. The Zs were the hardest, looking nothing like the printed letter, but I strove to get the squiggles just right. Now, I wouldn’t even know where to start.
I would like to blame technology, and perhaps it does have a part to play. But mostly it’s my fault because I stopped. I don’t know when or why, but somewhere in my life I just decided to not bother. It’s sad, and I feel nostalgic when I pick up my fountain/calligraphy pen. Such a beautiful pen writing a mess of words.
Perhaps I will find the time to relearn, and maybe this time my Zs will be perfect, and I will be able to press my pen to the paper to once again fill the blank spaces with beauty and grace.
Do you still know how to write cursive? What is something you took time to perfect but now no longer need or have forgotten how? Comment below.