Real Writing


I remember printing in first and second grades; but when we entered third grade, all the emphasis was placed on learning what we called, "real writing."  You do not hear that phrase any more.  The phrase "cursive writing" is becoming extinct, also.

I just recently realized that hardly anyone is writing in "real writing" anymore.  Cursive writing is not taught each year like it used to be way back when I was in school.  I do realize that teaching cursive is very time-consuming, but I wonder why its importance has decreased to such an extent.

There were twelve brothers and sisters in my mother's family, and her mother died when she was about ten years old, so she had to quit school.  She loved school, and for the rest of her life, she regretted not being able to finish.  I can remember her sitting at the kitchen table writing her signature over and over until it filled the front and the back of the page.  She told me that how a person signed her name revealed a lot about that person.  Momma could be proud of her beautiful handwriting.

I doomed myself to an eternal C in writing by seeking to make the alphabet "my own."  Somehow I thought that some of the letters seemed to need tweaking from the perfect standard version presented to us.  I would admire something in someone else's handwriting and claim it as my own, perfect or not. Anyone who knows me realizes just how hard that was for me to accept a C, but sometimes the risk of personalizing the way you express yourself is well worth the consequences.  I think that the imperfections add personality to handwriting.

Another loss through the decades is the art of letter writing.  Texting, Facebook, and e-mail are the three culprits that have murdered the eloquence of the written word.  Memos and e-mails have done away with simple courtesy and etiquette.  Texting and Facebook have condensed communication back to caveman grunts by leaving out vowels, shortening phrases to their beginning letters, ignoring capitalization, omitting indentation at the beginning of paragraphs, and vanquishing commas altogether.  People are consuming so much time endlessly texting, and at the same time shortening the messages down until it is nothing but mindless drivel.  It is sad to report that their mission has been accomplished.

How long has it been since you received a handwritten letter delivered to your doorstep personally by a postman?  On the outside you recognize the handwriting and address of a loved one.  You are thrilled even before you open the letter.  Someone you love thought enough about you to sit down and write to you.  Special stationery was purchased and time was set aside to compose the letter.  They had that very letter in their hand just a few days ago.  They carefully had written your name and address on the front of the envelope.  Their unseen fingerprints are on it, and sometimes their scent clings to it.  You check out the official stamp and carefully open the envelope which was sometimes sealed with a kiss.

After the date, you read the word Dear in front of your name.  They always ask how you are and really are interested.  They tell you the news from where they are and inquire about your family.  Please and thank-you's are scattered throughout the letter.  Memories are enclosed which spark others from long ago and far away.

You recognize the phrases that they use.  An abundance of adverbs and adjectives help paint vivid pictures in your mind.  Commas and semi-colons separate thoughts clearly.  Periods allow time to ponder what has just been told.  If you are parted from a loved one by war, these lifelines are desperately awaited with a heart full of hope and longing.  In these circumstances the true romance of the written word can be found.  Each word is read over and over because each one is precious to the reader.  Somehow the familiar handwriting in itself is comforting and reassuring, the closest thing to hearing that beloved voice.

The letter is signed with love.  A postscript is added which assures you that you are always remembered and what you think is important to them.  You hate for the letter to end, so you reread it one more time to see if you missed anything.  Sometimes you notice that your own teardrops have mingled with the dried ones of the sender to make lasting impressions on those treasured pieces of parchment.

The letter is carefully folded and placed back into its envelope.  A ribbon binds it with other cherished letters that form the secret collection of thoughts and plans lovingly shared between hearts which are far apart.  As they are read again and again, each thought is stored away in a loving heart and mind.

Letters that are handwritten in cursive are art and history sharing a common past.  Today's shallow forms of communication leave nothing for future generations.  They are here today and deleted tomorrow.  Old-fashioned letters live on through the ages providing personal insights more valuable than gold.

Someone loved us enough to leave us His love letter.  It is called The Holy Bible.  (Now, that is real writing).  Read it over and over again.  Cherish the words.  Hide them in your heart, knowing that we will soon be reunited with Him.

John 17:26 "And I have declared unto them thy name (righteous Father God), and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." (KJV)

Shirley Anne Cox
by way of Eternal Ink
and Christian Voices









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