What is it about calligraphy that I really love? What draws me to it?
I think about this a lot. Not in a heavy, heady way, but it's a question that pops into my mind when I take notes in a meeting (and find myself flourishing) or when I scroll with the mouse at my computer (and practice whole-arm movement).
If I think back, I remember being four years old, living in McKeesport in a cute white house with a green awning, and always admiring my mom's smooth, curvy, loopy cursive. Before entering kindergarten I begged my parents to teach me to write my name (not print—write). They complied, of course, but none of my school compatriots could read it just yet. I was triumphant when, in second grade, we practiced loops, stems, and swoops as a class. Finally my mates were digging into the loops and swirls that I'd been practicing alone for years. My hand and brain worked in harmony.
Cut to: college, grad school, and the workaday world. Stacks of full notebooks, my private works of art, were prized for their visual beauty as much as the notes they conveyed (the medium is the message, after all). None of this was calligraphy per se, but it was all leading up to this love affair.
Today I stake the claim: I am a calligrapher (!). Every day I sit down to my workspace and confront that blank piece of paper. I start with the basics: oval drills, straight lines, push-pulls, etc., etc., and it's fun and frustrating and beautiful (always a little bit more beautiful the day after—like beer goggles in reverse). Sometime's it's a slog, most times it's totally fun, and in some ways I've been practicing for this job all my life. Scarlet Day Calligraphy is who I've always been. Ta-da! Here I am!