*This post was especially inspired by The Reading Residence‘s campaign about Bringing Back Paper!*
I wish nothing ever comes along to make me stop enjoying or respecting the smell of rain of warm, scented earth! Where am I going with this? I’ll tell you..It made me chuckle to myself when some friends around me were talking about how technology has robbed man of some of his core skillsets – how true actually! Made me also think of Neil Young’s “They give you this, but you pay for that” in his famed My My, hey hey! There are no free lunches in this world!
“Autopilot counterproductive as pilots scale down on skills.” ” Motorists incapacitated to read international traffic-markers as a result of over-reliance of satellite navigation!” You can stretch those headlines to about as far back as “Hard, big-bearded man loses aim with spear as soft-around-the- edges man settles in to chow down a pot of cooked grain!” You win some, you lose some… I’m not yearning to go back to being timid gatherer valued for spatial awareness and childbearing- all too yabba dabba doo for me! But, I do remember being known amongst my teachers for my handwriting, it was so important in the ’80’s and early ’90’s to write well and you still had your ‘character’ assessed through it. I now hold my pen pretty much as I would a club. My writing is rubbish, and I hold out no hope of my children ever writing beautifully either, their character’s likely to be judged by their stash of video games!
We’ve lost the art of penmanship..finding some of my parents’ love letters before they were married was nothing but awkward, but reminded me of just how beautiful it might’ve been to get a handwritten letter by someone who meant the world to you! I had to be gentle with the paper, it is after all 46 yrs old. I lost my parents a while back and so creepy or not, I often go back to reading their innocence and the way they loved each other! They were both teenagers when they wrote them and hardly the parents I remember as being quite emotionally stoic. There is definitely something lost with us having given up on paper; handwriting is probably the least.. A newspaper in Shenyang recently featured a whole front page that was entirely handwritten to emphasize that it’s becoming a crisis. Imagine losing the ability to write lovely Mandarin characters or Japanese Kanji!
Whilst I understand and wholly support the need to reduce paper use, and would not dream of wasting it in any form (I’ve written a fair few words about preserving the environment here on my blog) so I’m not recanting; there are several eco-friendly varieties available (unbleached recycled is one of my favourites) for a quiet day, when I find it enriching to write a bit by hand, illustrate, do caligraphy…if only for my children to read, hold on to…cherish or even just be plain embarassed by! It’s leaving them a small gift from the past like what my parents left behind for me ! x
Some things to keep in mind while we use paper responsibly:
Use both sides
Look out for treeless paper, cotton, hemp, bamboo…paper made from wood only started in the 1800’s
Use old newspapers as wrapping paper with a string…very shabby-chic!
Petrichor- the smell of the mingling of rain and earth is one that is ancient and simultaneously in the moment – galvanizing time! It’s said to be one of the most powerful endorphin releasers found in nature whose effect on people has remained constant. We give, we take, we barter our skills continually to the unending drumroll of time…somethings are too important, too human, too beautiful to give up on…and penmanship for me, is one of the flagbearers of that list! Let’s never give up on our own “Rain on Warm Scented Earth!”
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This post can also be seen at The Merry Monday Linky Party!
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