Yesterday I read back through some diary entries from last year. I use ‘diaries’ in the loosest possible sense of the word – unpunctuated ramblings would probably be a better description.
What struck me though was the variation in my handwriting over just the space of a week. I can remember how I felt in this particular week, and my handwriting, even without reading the words, gives you an instant picture of my frame of mind.
One entry, wich I remember writing late at night in a mild state of anxiety, is barely legible. Letters are scrawled, racing to get onto the paper, tumbling over each other to make themselves heard and getting muddled, unsure of which words they are meant to be forming.
The spaces between each word are blurred and haphazard, and the pressure is uneven – big splotches of ink in some places, faint traces of letters in others. The words themselves form nervous, short sentences, frequently stopping and starting, changing their mind and starting again. The message is clear, both visually and in the language itself – I am uncertain. I do not know how to proceed.
Another entry, a few days later, is completely different. It is as though the words have said to themselves ‘right girls, we need to pull ourselves together and stand up straight. No more running about all over the place, let’s get things sorted.’
Letters are formed with slow careful strokes, like an eight year old writing in best. Many of the words are written in clear, bold print, none of the letters joined together.
The entry is less a stream of consciousness and more of a list, setting myself tasks to achieve, wanting to proves that I am in control, of my handwriting if nothing else…