The Shaky Scribe

I take a look at myself, a left-handed person with sweaty palms and shaky hands, and the calligraphy nibs and brush pens. If I were to judge my ability based on my existing situation, it would be have been an ill-suited hobby. Fortunately, I did not judge. 😀 I am a judger by nature so I am always working to overcome the tendency to do so.

At the outset, it’s quite daunting. You need concentration (not the chief quality of someone with my illness), a steady hand, and full muscle control on the fingers to sustain the upstrokes and downstrokes of calligraphy as a hobby or as a sideline or as a way of life.

But it found me.


I previously toyed with the idea in my head but never got around to dragging my butt out to attend a workshop or actually do something about it.

By chance, I went to this really nice resort (Aquaria Waterpark in Calatagan, Batangas) for a writing assignment some weeks back and they had basic brush calligraphy lessons in the event.

I gave it a try despite my condition, in spite of the voices in my head telling me that it’s not exactly a good fit for me. I am happy I took that risk on that day.

Some random dude even laughed at my drills because it was shaky. I almost wanted to give up on the brush at the time but why would I waste an opportunity to learn something new just because he decided I was not doing so well on it? If there’s anything I have learned this year, it’s this: it’s not going to taint my humanity one bit if I fail. It’s okay. It’s part of being human. It’s part of improving over time.

It was an involuntary shake; my hands are already suffering from medical side effects so drawing a straight upward line with just the right amount of thickness is a Herculean challenge. I took solace in the downward strokes and crawled through the others. Somehow, I managed to make it.

It was a very trifling thing but it made me so happy and I started to practice daily since then. 🙂

I think the calligraphy thing became more than just a thing as the days went on. It’s not yet poster or invitation scrawl quality. And honestly, I am not even after that.

It’s something I can do without my hands on the laptop keyboard and eyes on the computer screen, for a change. I usually do things for clients and it gets tiring to keep looking at this screen, pleasant as it may be 70% of the time.

It’s still refreshing to write on a piece of paper, whether it’s an essay, a diary entry, or a couple of words in swirly font. Nothing beats the thrill of that.

Also, I guess calligraphy represented something more than ink being placed on paper. It represented a defiance of the gravity that beckons me to just passively remain put or stagnated. I have witnessed a person stagnate before. Whenever I am inclined to feel lazy, I just think of her and I am prompted to keep moving. It represented the hard accomplishments wrought in silence and in pain. It represented beauty, the elusive and simple type. It represented a lot of inner battles fought with the echoing scars that only a selected few will ever see.

Most of all, it represented the present moment, because you cannot even create a basic curve or simple straight line without focusing on what is, momentarily flushing out the pains of what was and the anxieties of what will be. 

I bought new colors for brush pens at a local bookstore 15 minutes from home a few days after the workshop in Calatagan. A week later, I met with a friend and she gave me a complete set of nibs. She tried before and it was just collecting dust in her house for two years. She decided to give it to me. It meant a lot when she did. It signaled to me that I can actually continue this hobby and no one can tell me what I can’t do. That I am my worst enemy.

The stage is set. Left-handed, shaky-handed me is really doing this for a new hobby. Apart from this new discovery, I am doing things now that I never imagined I’d be able to do before.

I had to close some doors. At first, I wept for what I lost. But so many more doors opened up to replace what I decided to let go. And it kind of fell into place. It made sense why things had to happen the way they did. It made sense and I knew I was back on track and I am everyday grateful for that.

Empowering. And as such, I went on to sign up for other things this week: a body training regimen, a few MOOCs, and meetups for cutting edge topics that deeply interest me. 

I rarely wrote in this blog for 2015. But this is the year that really nailed it as far as a deeper knowledge of myself and a higher level of improvement is concerned. This is the zero bullshit year where I got to know myself and engaged in new and better ways of looking at the world. The ground was never steady. It kept shaking, just like my left hand when I try to imitate the calligraphy exemplar. But I was able to draw lines where they are required. I was able to create. For that, I am massively grateful.

I fought for the precious minutes I am typing this down. Possibly, the next post will be next month/year. This blog is scattered with all thoughts, dingy in the older pages, and introspective in the recent ones. Even so, it’s still here. I am still here.

And just as I have fought for the time to write here albeit intermittently, I will find time to continue being the shaky scribe that meditates quietly in her cave with scrawls manufactured from a tapestry of thoughts, brush pens, and nibs dipped on ink.









>These days have been far from being idle. I have meetings here and there, tasks to do for different people. And yes, my own personal promise to pamper myself comes up from time to time.

Who would ever think I am unemployed fulltime at the moment? Even watching glee on TV is becoming a rarity.

I had this lifestyle prior to taking the board exam. I practically filled my calendar to the brim and it was super stressful.

Surprisingly, I am supposed to be stressed by my four part time stints. But I am not.

Since I started resuming my mental prayer routine in the morning, there is a certain quieting of my mind that makes everything seem to run serenely.

Sure, there are kinks for a couple of minutes just as a good dress has small wrinkles that can be ironed out over time. There are minor irritations like smelly bus seatmates and a troubled atm user ahead in the line who tried to withdraw money for the nth time and the nth minute.

Yet… Things fall into place. Thankful for the Hand that holds everything with me. For that fifteen minutes I spend each morning mentally aligning myself to Him, the rest of the 24 hours just work out fine. I no longer seem to need more than 24 hours a day even when tasks seem to swimmingly wade up my neck.

I also noticed that I only get bothered when I try to pattern myself in a certain way or compare myself to others. There are ideal principles, but each person’s path is marked out differently.

The pie of the world’s resources is more than enough for everyone. No need to hoard; no need to get worried if somebody gets a good break while I still patiently wait for my turn in the sidelines.

My friend’s stepmom’s words still resonates in my ear even months after our last conversation.. “People and relationships are more important than things.”

And it was so true. 🙂

Much of life’s sweetest moments are not in the tempered chocolates that delight the senses for a moment; the sweetest moments are those when kindness and love is sown to one’s self and to others.

Made a point to include sowing kindness to one’s self because some people seem to forget that duty.

I try not to jump up and down when thinking of that dream job that is so close but so far at the same time. I just try to sit still and relish where I am now.

Enjoying the journey while I pine for the destination. Unruffled, at that.