Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Learning to the Left
The main reason for this effort is to try and narrow the gap between the proficiency of my right hand and the awkwardness of my left. It was real but negligible before I broke my arm; it's significant and more inhibiting since.
I hatched this idea a few years ago but never really followed through with it. More and more I'm becoming aware of a strong preference for my right hand. My stick is almost always in my right hand, I feel more nervous following the rail to the left and I seem more unbalanced cantering on the left lead.
I bought one of those writing tablets. You know, the kind little kids use when they are first learning to write. I started out the same way my Mum first taught me to write. I printed out a neat row of upper and lower case As with my right hand and then neatly traced over them with my left.
I have about 3 pages of As at last count. The upper case was fairly easy but the lower case is quite troublesome. Changing the angle of the paper, adjusting my grip on the pen - nothing seems to make the letter flow easier onto the page. Each attempt is awkward and ugly.
I began to think about this project in terms of my horsemanship. After all, it started as a way to improve my overall tool handling skills. So how could I use what I know from my Parelli journey to improve my penmanship journey?
I started acknowledging the things that were right. I identified the element of the letter that was plaguing me and instead of writing "a" I focused on just the oval, repeating the circular motion until it felt more natural. Oddly enough, by the end of the line I had several left-handed letters that looked remarkably like their right-handed counterparts.
I am finding this little project to be more intriguing and revealing than I could have imagined.