Monday, January 14, 2013

"Inspiration©" By Abraham Lincoln

Imagine a light, airy spot, beside a window that looks out over a refreshing natural area, and see yourself sitting at a lovely writing desk; pen in hand, a clean sheet of beautiful writing paper beckons.

All sounds are quietly waiting on your mind to slip back into yesterday’s memories. Slowly, your mind begins a pleasant journey down memory lane.

The pen touches the paper and a jet-back trail of ink begins forming the first letters of the first words that begins a relaxing letter-writing experience.

Inspiration comes in many forms. A pleasant environment is vital for writing letters. If you don’t have it, make room for it. Thomas Jefferson, a prodigious writer, certainly wouldn’t feel any inspiration to write in his kitchen.

Today, about the only writing surface available is a crowded kitchen table or countertop. Jefferson might write out a list of vittles for next week’s menu, but not the Declaration of Independence.

We are a demanding People: Instant news, entertainment, lunch and gratification. Our spare time has created a new species—Couch Potato!

It is no mystery why people choose greeting cards and telephones over letter writing. We believe it takes less time to share our hearts with others. A snappy greeting card or a quick phone call ends our obligation to keep in touch; and it kills memories, daydreams and happiness.

Historians and social working observers agree that letter wiring is on the decline and that preservation of part of our culture is at stake. Jacqueline Kennedy’s former chief of staff, Letitia Baldridge, has said that letter writing is a lost art. Baldridge said, “Letter writing disappeared in the 60s when we had the youth rebellions and women went to work.”

“The time of great letter writing is gone, and I’m sorry to see it go.” Said Charles Crawford, professor of history and oral history research director at Memphis State University. “From a historian’s viewpoint, we have fewer details to deal with. Letters used to be a fine source. You would know how a person felt, how well educated he was, how he talked to people, what kind of slang he used. Letter writing still goes on but the human feelings are gone. People very seldom write about how they feel. The human elements are missing. This is one of the reasons oral history is so important now.”

A quill pen makes a squeaking sound as it glides across paper. It is something that I always looked forward to when I cut and used quills to write with. Sometimes the sight of a turkey quill pen was more than enough to inspire me to write something.

Over the past several decades I have written with both turkey and goose quill pens that I cut and made myself. I also write a lot with a wide selection of fountain pens and inks. Each one has something about it that I like. And I often use small markers made by Micron Sigma of Sakura Color Products Corp.

Handwriting is no longer being taught in our schools. People are taught to “print” instead. In this age of computers, iPhones and iPods, a bottle of ink, and a fountain pen, plus something to write is a thing of the past. I don’t think teachers are taught how to write in school—handwriting is not a requirement for a teaching certificate in Ohio. And that is a shame—we have allowed our most personal form of self-expression, hand writing, to fall apart and we replaced it with a computer keyboard hooked up to the Internet.

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