When we were children, my husband and I lived in different blocks on the same housing estate and attended the same infant and junior school, where we sat in separate desks in a classroom where we were taught by a teacher neither of us will ever forget. She was grey-haired and stern, wore a twin-set and pearls, and not only instilled in us a love of language and poetry, but also taught us to write in the italic style.
We started with straight lines and zig-zags: the straight lines slanted on top and the zig-zags had to be thin on the up-slant and thick on the down-slant. We learned the correct way to hold the pen, how to create the perfect curve, and how to join up the letters into words. The first pen belonged to the school and was wooden with a metal italic nib. We would dip the nib into an inkwell that was set in a hole in the desk. It was a messy process at first! Later, our parents had to purchase a pen, usually from manufacturers called Platinum and Osmiroid, but only plastic and functional. I used to love the fancier, heavier pens, with mottled patterns and stainless steel.
Our writing used to be very similar, a trace of our shared childhood, and my husband’s writing is still as neat as it used to be; it’s a little more rounded than it was, but still expressive and handsome. Because of age and some arthritis in my fingers, my handwriting has become a scrawl that sometimes even I can’t read. My fingers are more comfortable on a keyboard, but even then the letters and words get tangled up.
words are falling leaves
departing birds leave haiku
scribbled in the sky
Kim M. Russell, 2018
I’m hosting at the pub today and the theme is handwriting. Come on over and share your haibun. How did you learn to write? How has your handwriting changed over the years? All you have to do is write no more than three tight paragraphs about communication through pen or pencil and paper, followed by a traditional Haiku that includes reference to a season.