My mother has always told me that when I first went to Primary School, I wrote upside down and back to front. I was also Left-handed. Perhaps in my mind I was living on another planet, with an unusual orbit and topsy-turvy gravity. Maybe in my present state of mind I still do. Needless to say, my early attempts at handwriting were both baffling and concerning to my teachers, and I felt these concerns emanating from them, like wafts of cold air. I recall sore fingertips from biting, paring them away, as if I was punishing my digits for not conforming. I recall knowing that things were not well, and that some presence covered my writing endeavours like thick morning fog.
Yet suddenly something happened. The fog lifted, and in a very short time I felt a brightening, and my writing took on a sort of fluency. The fog had gone. I spent some time with a teacher, during the early mornings of a Summer holiday. There was a run of warm and sunny weather, and I recall a journey steered by high, green-hedged lanes leading to a house with a covered porch. Once there, a lovely woman would sit next to me and help me write. I have no idea what she did or how she did it, but I could finally form letters, and hold a pen with confidence. My fingers almost felt a flourish of ink.
This Christmas, I have penned many cards, and done so without really thinking about it. The process of thinking to writing has been almost instantaneous, and without fear. Sometimes I write when I feel very quiet, and perhaps can not express what I want to say verbally. I write now on a daily basis (albeit mainly with a keyboard), and this act is as natural to me as breathing. Whatever passes from brain to pen, the most important words that I write are always written first on paper before they are transmitted (as these have been). I feel very aware today that I am able to do this because of the help and patience of one teacher, and she is very dear to my heart. I hope that when she receives a Christmas card from my parents, she might look at these words and feel happy.
Copyright Tom Tide 2017