Friday, March 18, 2011

Day Seventy-Two: Calligraphy

How can I describe the practice of calligraphy, the "art of beautiful handwriting?"
I think of it in terms of ballet: an intricate and exquisite sequence of predetermined movements, flowing seemingly effortlessy together to tell a story. Precision, timing, grace, strength, and courage are essential, and rather than bleeding toes, one has bleeding fingertips. Years of practice are required for even a modicum of success. And yet, the most uninformed and uneducated viewer can instantly see the smallest misstep.
I've been trying to perfect this art since 1991, with very little to show for my efforts. Perhaps if I practice every day for twenty more years, I will see some improvement. But I fear that with the increasing numbness I now have in my fingers, I will never achieve my goal.
Can I be happy with where I am today? Can a ballerina accept her limitations? Some things in life can be done at an amateur level; calligraphy and ballet--I think--cannot.

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