By Tony Mayadunne (Mississauga, ON)


My father, a keen educator, gave me, among other gifts, the art of handwriting. Even years later, when he occasionally leafed through my hastily scribbled university lecture notes, he would comment on their legibility rather than contents: contents which I had hoped would impress him with the range of my familiarity with literary jargon. I recall these moments with nostalgia, remembering how, as a child, I would cautiously creep over to his desk in the late evening to pore over his painstakingly written lesson-plans for the next day, while he took his nightly bath before dinner. To this day I still admire, and aspire to create his beautifully curling 'f,' the magisterial 'D' in his signature, or the even flow of linked words on page after page. Then there are the many secretly stolen moments when I would stare, enraptured, at the confident poise of his red-inked pen imperiously gliding out across my bedraggled homework as he commented in its margins.

Over time, I have affected many different styles of handwriting that tickled my fancy, culled from teachers, classmates and friends, but the few letters or words that I managed to master from my father's writing style still linger on in my handwriting as a silent and enduring tribute to those years of my childhood, when, with his huge ham-like hand firmly enveloping my awkward five-year-old fist, he patiently guided my pencil into harmonious shapes, that even now I delight in producing whenever I take my pen to paper.

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