Monday, December 31, 2018

Forty Years #40: A Gift

Forty years ago calligraphy came to me as a gift. I was unemployed and searching for meaningful work and the chance request for lettering in a wedding album reconnected me with a high school pastime. It was a demanding gift that required hard work and discipline. It awakened my creativity but also my insecurities and doubts. The joy of working with words that I loved and the 26 letters that I learned to love kept me going until they didn’t. After years of focusing on making books, I slowly brought calligraphy back into my life.

In this second chapter, the gift has changed. Writing these 40 posts has helped me see the change. While I had been experimenting with freer letters for many years, they weren’t free in my heart. They were still in a semi-constant state of comparison and often came up short. Now I take them as they are, a spontaneous expression of the moment, drawing on my history and hard work but opening myself fully to the joy of pen and paper and ink. As the fortieth year of my involvement with calligraphy draws to a close, I am grateful for this gift and look forward to sharing it with the world without qualification or apology.

Thank you for reading. The entire series can be read, in reverse, by following this thread.

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