Nov 1, 2009

Things That Take Practice

When you start something, perhaps you usually have the tendency to look it up on the net or ask others to find the faster way to get it right. Maybe even get it right with the minimal amount of effort. In another time it would have been shameful to get somewhere cutting corners and seeking to do it on the minimal effort, but nowadays that's the most desirable way to do everything in life. A language in 15 minutes (which I'm guilty off) or through sleeping, a career in 2 years or less (when it takes 5 to 6 years), an MBA or MSc, or any other Masters Degree in a few months with no studying, simply paying, or making a meal in seconds. As a recent member of Interpals, I have often ran into people that desire to apropiate a language fast with little effort, or little trying. It's then kind of hard to explain to someone that practicing is the only way, and that inspite of not speaking the given language well trying is the only way to get to speak it well.

I was writing to a friend from Hungary the other day, and as I tried to tell him that practice is important, I remembered my own travesy with my glass quill.

Last year I bought the glass quill you can see in the picture above, and here at the right. As you can imagine, and I've probably wrote it back then, I purchased it at Gödöllő, at the King's Castle there that once belonged to Empress Sissy. The pen, something that caught my eye from the first moment, came with a tiny bottle of purple violet scented ink. It was something I had never seen before, but sure as hell I wanted to try it out. Well, the first times I tried out the quill the letters were blotchy to say the least. My grandpa, as he is, told me I had wasted my money on the quill, because it was useless. I still tried it a few times and then left it in its box, tied neatly with its purple ribbon. However recently I decided to take my quill out again and look on the net for the trick to use the quill. I did find some sites talking about quills, and particularly how to make them from a feather.

The pointers to take in consideration to write with a quill are:

1. Consider the quality of the paper. Basically something that doesn't suck in the ink.
2. The pressure of the writing must be very very light. People today write using too much pressure to write. With a quill the touch must be light. For practice you can make circles on the back of your hand making a small indentation buut leaving no marks.
3. you must practice, practice, practice.

Your writing changes a bit because the quill does not allow the same sudden changes the ballpen or the fountain pen allows, so you have to get the hang of it. As I read the pointers I realized I was looking again for the fast way to the goal instead of enjoying the whole process.

Today we all live fast thinking we can "buy" time and "spare" time with fancy artifacts and modern "solution", cutting corners, sparing effort, but where does all that takes us? If a long time ago people did things step by step and got on with their lives, made a living, had family and all, why can't we?

Perhaps some kinds of evolution and changes do more bad than good. I, for myself, will try to remember the lesson I learned and take time to savour life, and practice, practice, and enjoy every step of my journey towards knowledge. What about you?

1 comment:

sartassa said...

hey, this is Patricia from Austria, I saw that interview on "We've got Paper" and I read that you are still looking for pen pals ... anyway, I went through the same situation and learned that some of my friends stopped writing during the past few months. I would really love to find someone new to write too... Anyway, I don't want to write a long story here since I don't know whether you are still looking for someone, if you do, feel free to write a mail or a message on my blog


I am looking forward to hearing from you