Sunday, January 13, 2013
write myself a letter
Cleaning out the house has led to a few moments of sentimentality. But there have been far more guffaws.
Yesterday I found this gem. I do not know why it is in a frame. But I know why it is has been so honored. Someone knew irony writ large.
Some readers have been kind enough to compliment my writing style. And everyone appreciates compliments. Even all of those American teenage girls who think they sound like Beyonce instead of Bea Arthur.
But the framed prose was not about writing -- even though the first line would lead you to believe it was. It was about penmanship.
Even though I had been writing stories for the previous three years, I was never very good at penmanship.
Like most Americans, I was introduced to the arcane ways of cursive in the third grade. Whether it was my hand, eye, or mind control, I was never able to copy the rather fascist white strokes on green cardboard that topped our chalk board.
After three months of forcing the right and left sides of my brain to communicate with each other, my technique had not improved. This example is from early 1958. And Miss Romig was obviously not impressed.
Even though I told a compelling tale -- in Hemingwayesque prose -- about Columbus, discovery, and Indians, the best I could get was a 4-. If Miss Romig had been Dr. Romig, my penmanship would have been in intensive care. On death watch.
Of course, she was correct. As penmanship, the piece is a disaster. On the other hand, it is an interesting piece of calligraphy.
It may even be a nascent Saichō. That may explain the frame.
There is a resemblance, isn't there?
In the same way that Russel Crowe's singing voice is similar to Colm Wilkinson's.