WPC: Handwriting Nostalgia

[I]t becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia. ~Ted Koppel

For the next few weeks, our town is hosting Art Prize, an international art festival, which draws over a thousand artists.  Leslie Adam’s installation, Handwritten Dreams, generated a lot of interest.  In the midst of an “old school” classroom with authentic wooden desks, she included a self-portrait from her childhood.  She is at the chalk board, writing her dream of becoming an artist.  She invited the audience to write down their dreams on note cards and tack them to the “walls” of the classroom.  Through her work, she hopes to inspire others to believe in possibility and recognize the value of a fading art–cursive writing.

Leslie Adams. Self Portrait. Art Prize 2016.

Leslie Adams. Self Portrait. Art Prize 2016.

To her credit, she resists the temptation to “soften” the message with a nostalgic look at the past.  The juxtaposition of past memories and the present-day dreams created a very powerful message about hope and the future.

There is also a danger in nostalgia.  In romanticizing the past.   Some of you will object.  How harmless can it be?  It’s fun…like this table-side jukebox I spotted in a local diner in Weston, Massachusetts. The beautiful handwriting of the songs and artists caught my eye.

Juke Box Nostalgia. Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant, Weston, MA

Juke Box Nostalgia. Ye Olde Cottage Restaurant, Weston, MA

At the same time, Frank Zappa has a point.

It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.~Frank Zappa

Nostalgia softens the hard edges of life, of memory.  It is a way of luring us into believing the past was sweeter and kinder and nicer than the present.  But was it, really?  Are you skeptical of nostalgia–like me?  Why or why not?  Are you one of those people (like me) whose handwriting has deteriorated because you use the computer more? Do you miss the simple beauty of a handwritten message in elegant cursive?   Sometimes, I do.  But at other times, I love the speed and fluency of the keyboard.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  And have a wonderful week, everyone!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

23 replies »

  1. I love handwritten recipes from family and friends who have long left this world. I treasure their handwritten cards, and I can picture them in my mind actually making the recipes. It then makes me feel so good they took the time to leave a little bit of themselves behind as a special memory to enjoy. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent, thought provoking post Patti. I’m with you on the way nostalgia softens the edges. And I am very sad to see schools quit teaching cursive writing. On the other hand there’s much to be said for the efficiencies of texting and email. We still do written thank you notes and birthday greetings. At least it’s something!

    Like

  3. Hi, Tina. I am shocked at how bad my handwriting is now…(sigh). Maybe it’s because I write so little? Or I’m impatient? Or in a rush…Like you, I’m still write a bit–mostly notes and cards.

    Like

  4. I’ve not written my post for this week yet, but I was also thinking about the idea of the dangers of nostalgia as I think there are some. I never had very nice cursive, but I do still hand write notes. Not only is it nice to hand write things sometimes, I also think it is nice to get something personal in the mail sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Amy. Yes, I agree that there are dangers…lulling us into thinking the past was kinder and gentler than the present…for example. Absolutely true that a handwritten message is a treat. Isn’t it interesting that custom papers/notecards are now “hot!”

    Like

  6. This post is very interesting. Nostalgia, however, has proven to be highly effective in treating conditions like dementia, so I understand very well the meaning behind the installation and do like it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like being nostalgic, Patti. A trip back into the past is a nice break from having to deal with the present and worry about the future. You can’t change the past but you can change how you view it and pick the moments from it that you want to cherish – even if you have to use rose-coloured glasses at times. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post! I love handwritten texts and used to have a beautiful cursive writing. But no longer. No fluency or flow in it. Destroyed by computerwork and many years of stress. I still write Christmas cards though, and to old friends cards from my travels.

    Like

Don't Be Shy! Drop Me A Line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s