I’ve had a project in mind for awhile now (actually, I’m pretty sure I pinned it close to two years ago), and after Harrison’s sweet revelation yesterday, I decided that yesterday was in fact the perfect day to make it happen (laundry be damned). I had three kiddos at school and one kiddo napping for part of the morning and so, just like that, I started writing on the walls.
The Back Story: I have long loved this poem by e. e. cummings. Adored it, actually. And as I heard part of it spilling out of my mouth yesterday anyway (reassuring HD that even if I wasn’t with him with him, I was always inside is heart and he inside mine), I knew it was time to finally put it up where my loves and I could see it, read it, and know it all the time – right smack dab in our dining room (that has always been the most plain room in our house, wall-wise; see photo below for proof and evidence of life (a.k.a. mess)).
I have held off from this project in the past because I am not especially fond of my own handwriting and thought I should probably get someone else to put it up for me. It’s not terrible penmanship, but it isn’t exactly pretty either and I know nothing about fancy techniques and all that. But then I decided that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am sharing words that have touched my heart so they deserve to be shared in my own hand. My kids don’t care if my lettering is the most glorious out there – they care that it is mine.
So with that little insecurity set aside, I assessed my wall, marked it out by lines, and started writing in pencil.
Side note: as much as this poem speaks to me, it did in fact kill me a little bit to stay true to the cummings’ theory of all lower case. You can best believe that my children will not write like this for their own English classes (or any classes) in the future unless they are in fact writing poetry! Also, because of our WELSCH sign, I took some creative liberty with the second stanza going across and back with the lines, so I will have to teach my people how to read this correctly, otherwise they are going to be terribly confused should they ever encounter it on their own/in school in the future. That being said, I choose my choice (is that a S&TC quote?) and really like it.
After the first draft in pencil came Sharpie Time. Had I realized how hard the next step – Erasing any remaining pencil marks – was going to be, I would have been more true to my original lines when going over them with the marker. Which reminds me that this is a good time to point out that the lovely walls in our old house are made out of lath and plaster, so it’s a darn good thing I wasn’t going for fancy writing because holy moly cow – these suckers were hard to write on as the texture and terrain were constantly changing on me! The first go with the maker showed me that I would definitely be doing two coats, as some of the words had this remarkable Swiss cheese look to them:
The lumps and bumps also made for tricky erasing, but after killing at least five cheap pencil erasers (sorry, kids) and part of a classic pink eraser, I finally got the job done and ready for the last layer of black Sharpie which I did some of last night and finished this morning between drop offs at school and preschool.
Another side note: when you, the grown up, put up “art” that really just looks like writing on the walls, your young children are going to want to do the same thing. Duh, right?! I fortunately kept them from helping me with any of the actual project, but we are totally going to have to have a sacrificial wall in our playroom downstairs that they can write/draw on because apparently if Mama does it, apparently we ALLLLLL need to do it.
So here is the finished product – in all its poetic glory:
Now, I realize that should we ever decide to sell our house or just simply want something else on our wall, we’re going to have to get pretty creative (and dark) with our cover up attempts, but I don’t mind. I love this and how it turned out, and most of all, I love that my heart piece carriers will slowly absorb these words and with them, the knowledge that I carry them in my heart, too.