Do you have a relationship with your handwriting? I've had a an interesting friendship with mine. I think about this almost every time that I write in my paper journal.
I've noticed that my penmanship has suffered some from my addiction to the keyboard... and so has my spelling. Some of my journal pages look like the work of a sixth grade girl. I've thought about scribbling I HEART JW in the margins (my darling husband's initials) with that symbol for "true love always."
One thing that hasn't changed is that I identify with the writing as mine. When I see my own writing, it gives me a sense of who I am. Think back to your younger years when you first got your drivers license. Did you practice your signature? How about before you got married? I must have practiced writing my new name a million times. Our signature is a reflection of who we are -- it's like our own personal logo.
I've been watching my daughter's penmanship improve and have seen pure joy in her eyes as she learned to write her name for the first time. It is as if she is recognizing herself on a map. "Oh, that's me!" she smiles. I wonder how much of our self image is developed parallel to our writing. Written words are powerful things.
Maybe part of how we see ourselves grows from seeing our own markings on a page. Each time we write our name and see it on paper, the imagery sparks a little awakenings of sorts. We want the visual representation of our name to evoke a sense of who we are. Our signature represents us.
Isn't it interesting then, that in so many religious traditions the name of God cannot be spoken? Cannot be named? There are no words that do God justice. I recently wrote a synopses of Taoist belief for a women's group to which I am an Administrator (the CafeMom group, Free-Thinking Religious Moms). While re-reading some Taoist texts, I was just tickled by this notion all over again. Taoists believe that IT, the Ultimate, is nameless, indescribable and beyond telling. Therefore, anything said about it faulty. Isn't that just a divine paradox!? Compare this to the power words, both written and verbal, have on us.
Words emit power. As Deepak Chopra reminds us in his audio book, Sacred Verses, Healing Sounds, in the Old Testament God said let there be light -- and there was. God said the word and it was. The word is the object. The primordial sound -- the sound from which the root word originates, is seemingly full of magic. Isn't, then, our writing a marvelous expression of something divine which though its being creates reality? When we write, we are the creators of new universes... new realities.
What a wonderful thing these words are. So much more than markings on a page... they take us places. Great adventures, dark mysteries, quiet rivers -- home. Words are my friends and it is through the feelings they convey that life becomes meaningful.