Day Two: What’s my name?

Time for today’s challenge!  I’m so excited because I’m still looking forward to this challenge.  I know it’s only the second day, but the fact that I’m still feeling ‘with it’ is a great feeling indeed.

I’m sure you all know that the name of your blog is extremely important.  It can be either personal or convey the blog purpose, but if it hasn’t been well thought out or have relevant meaning then it is just useless.  Think of naming your children, you wouldn’t just pick a random name would you?  No, parents spend many hours deciding on a name for their children.  Well, sometimes they wait until they meet the child but at that point they have usually narrowed down the selection.  You want the name to have meaning, to convey the hopes and dreams you have for the child.  Well, so should the name of your blog which is another extension of yourself.

So what exactly does Illumigraphy mean?   It’s a combination of two words which I love, illumination and calligraphy.

Why illumination?  Well, I think of it a bit as a metaphor for life.  Life is so dark – I don’t mean depressing and gloomy when I say this by the way.  I mean that there are so many unknowns, nobody can possibly know everything there is to know about the world.  And with each step we take in life it’s as though we are walking through a tunnel and lighting torches.  We leave these torches for the next person so that they may find their way.  We cannot light every path however, and it’s up to the next adventurer to press on and leave their torches behind.  So I live my life with the desire to explore and learn as much as possible.  Even down the tunnels which scare us, the ones where we can maybe hear a growling monster, we must make the choice to either press on or turn back.  The more we explore and grow, the more we will illuminate.

I can’t think of anything better to convey these thoughts, but I did hear a great quote yesterday while watching an adventure reality show on the National Geographic Channel.

I don’t want to live my life constantly going in a straight line.  I want to have as many experiences as possible.  Even if the experiences are bad, I will learn something from them.  Only then can I lay on my side and say goodbye to this life in peace.

It is such a beautiful quote.

The other word I chose is calligraphy.  To be honest, I’ve never taken calligraphy seriously although when I was young I had a simple set.  I eventually grew frustrated with it and never bothered to really learn much.  I can boast that I’ve been able to use cursive since before kindergarten.  When most children were struggling to write without wobbles, my mother had already taught me cursive.

Well, a couple of years ago I started reading articles that described the decline of writing by hand.  Even printing apparently is being replaced by typing and certain school districts have abandoned teaching cursive writing in favour of typing and that eventually even printing would be phased out.  I’m not sure why but it made me feel really sad.  I think it was one of the first times that something I had grown up with, that had become a natural part of my life, was being slated for destruction like that.  I felt like it was something I had to preserve and keep.  From then on I vowed that I would continue to send greeting cards by snail mail, and every single one of them would have a message written from me in cursive.  I felt that it was so much more personal than e-cards or email.  As I practiced I got better and I receive lots of compliments on my writing skills, both printing and cursive.  I’ve received a few complaints from people who had forgotten what cursive letters looked like and subsequently couldn’t read a portion of my message.  But I remain undeterred.  I finally think I can understand how seniors must feel when they see their old homes torn down for condo towers, or when their grandchildren Skype with them rather than visit in person.  I understand what it’s like to see things change and to not like it.

So, these two words are as much a part of me as they are.  I want to preserve writing as a craft, both the physical act of writing as well as the art of stringing together magnificent words.  The English language is full of words that nobody uses, words which have been forgotten.  I want to live a life of adventure and experience.

With my title I am setting the tone for this blog.  Forge on but never forget the past.

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