Monday, November 05, 2018

Forty Years #2: Earliest Days

My first encounters with calligraphy were in high school. I had a friend who was introduced to it in art class and he in turn introduced it to me. From the beginning, it was the connection to words and writing that drew me in. I'm guessing this picture was probably taken in 1968 or 69. I am writing the poem "The Gift" from Leonard Cohen's book, The Spice-Box of the Earth. You can see the paperback book to my left. I'm not sure if the copy I have now is that one or one I picked up later. To my right, there are two bottles of ink. My favorite hand at the time was the Speedball Handbook's Engrosser's "Old English" Text Alphabet but it looks like I am doing some version of my handwriting here. I was surprised to find this picture and glad to have some record of my earliest endeavors. For the next post, I'll be writing out the poem again.

I see this picture as evidence of an earlier interest in calligraphy and also as a testament to my parents' encouragement of me. In my room I had a desk and bookshelves. They always believed in the importance of an education for me. I went to a private girls' school and they were asked more than once why they were wasting their money on a girl. Rudeness is not a new phenomenon.

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