I took a community college class and it cost fourteen dollars and fifty cents. It met once a week for six weeks and it was my first encounter with calligraphy. The teacher saw something in my work and encouraged me to take the advanced class, which was a six week follow up session. Advanced meant we used red ink. This week we uncovered the handouts from that first class; for me it was like finding the Dead Sea scrolls.
Life is funny. We take one step forward not knowing where it might lead. We turn right and all sorts of doors open, we turn left and we seem to hit every wall possible. We move forward and endless opportunities seem to span the road overwhelming us as we try to predict or gaze into the future. None of us has any idea what is going to happen next. We think we do, we want to pretend that we have a five or ten year plan, when in reality we do not even know if we are going to wake up tomorrow. So we move forward with the hope that our efforts will eventually lead us to where we want to go.
I am teaching a class this week on calligraphy and collage at the John C Campbell School. Who knew when I took that calligraphy class over thirty years ago that today I would still be doing calligraphy AND teaching it to others. When we step forward and learn we never know where the path might lead. Education is the only thing that we can truly know and no one can take it way from us. It is ours even if we forget to use it. Learning shapes who we become. That fourteen dollars and fifty cents was some of the best money I ever spent.
I’m thankful that you did. Otherwise, we would never have crossed paths. Today you teach calligraphy and today I am a humble drop-out. My gell pens have solidified. My inks have dried. My illuminated letters are in the shadows. My glitter is gone. My paper is kindling. Still, I look over your shoulder to watch you use your gift.