My favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to read the New York Times Book Review. I read it from first page to last, articles, reviews, advertisements, and commentary. Today while reading, a recommendation listed under the “Editors’ Choice” caught my attention. The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, by Phillip Hensher. A short description of the book says Henscher equates writing by hand with being fully human.
Recently I received a personally handwritten note from a parent following their son’s conference the next day. As I lifted the envelope, I was shocked by how unusual it felt to be reading a handwritten note. I couldn’t think of the last time I had received one. I pulled from the envelope a pretty patterned blue notecard. I peeked inside and saw tiny, tight cursive filling the card. It was a beautifully written note of appreciation. I immediately felt special, valued, and truly recognized by this parent.
Emails of acknowledgment are a frequent occurance and always lift my spirit but this hand written note had much more of an affect on me. Someone took the time to locate their beautiful notecards and sat down to write to me, their cursive a human touch. The note warmed me like a soft blanket. I set it on my desk and peered at it throughout the day, achieveing the same warmth each time it caught my eye.
I have not read Mr. Hensher’s book, The Missing Ink, but I’m drawn to it because of my recent experience. I’m guessing he too has noticed the loss of the handwritten notecard and possibly like me has also observed the significance of the tangible message. If you are as curious as I am, you will want to find out.