This weekend, I’m spending two days taking a course from calligrapher Laurie Doctor. I’m not a calligrapher. In fact, my handwriting isn’t all that great. In this class, it doesn’t matter. Laurie’s emphasis is on the flow of words. Words, I have. And the work we are doing is about the Poetry of Handwriting.
She read us a poem that took my breath away. It’s by William Stafford, the prolific 20th century poet who died in 1993 at the age of 79.
You and Art
Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home.
Year after year fits over your face—
when there was youth, your talent
later, you find your way by touch
where moss redeems the stone;
and you discover where music begins
before it makes any sound,
far in the mountains where canyons go
still as the always-falling, ever-new flakes of snow.
—William Stafford, from You Must Revise Your Life
—Quinn McDonald is a writer who teaches workshops and seminars on business and personal writing. She owns QuinnCreative, and is a creativity coach.