Some laundry and some free play and some bathroom cleaning later, Fox asked to watch the Secret of Kells again (which is on Netflix instant watching). We did, and the boys watched some and built viking swords some, and then, Woody asked Daddy Honey to "draw Secret of Kells" with him. Daddy Honey got out the art supplies and pulled up one of the pages of the real-life, 1,000-year-old, illuminated text, the Book of Kells, on his IPad. Woody copied a page with the letter P using a green oil pastel.
Then, Daddy Honey printed out pages of other Celtic-inspired graphics he thought Woody would like. Woody traced these, and did more free-hand drawings.
My friend Jennifer, once-fellow teacher and sister in lapsed (or maybe transfigured?) Catholicism, told me something about learning handwriting as a child. One of the nuns who was her teacher captured Jennifer's imagination by describing each of the letters as having its own personality, a unique beauty and lovely form that we could capture and imitate to infuse our own writing with grace. This made a great impression on Jennifer, and while her handwriting today is quirky and flowy and full of fantastic loops and half-connected lines--not the Catholic-school "perfect" script that many of us adopted--I loved that she held on to the idea that letters themselves were powerful marks to admire. Writing for her, she said, became an almost sacred act, not one that imparted high-stakes, pass/fail, be-saved-or-condemned anxiety, but rather, a quiet, important, meditative act of beauty.
How powerful. How personal. How undeniably fantastic a realization: writing is art is sacred is connection is writing.