When we were children, we learned our ABCs and, man, did we love it. It was fun to discover these new shapes that held meaning when combined. Writing your first lower case q was weird but great and you’ll never forget trying to learn cursive since loops are inherently fun to mess around with. Learning your ABCs was Art class and English class rolled into one. Simply put, the curiosity factor of these letters was mind-blowing.
Perhaps you can’t recall when or how you actually ended up memorizing all 26 fantastic letters, but nonetheless, they are surely committed to your memory due to that wonderful tune that you can sing with them. You know the tune, it is the one you still use to get the correct sequence down when in a pinch. It goes as follows:
ABCDEFG [pause] HIJKLMNOP [pause again] QRS [short pause] TUV [shorter pause] WX [even shorter pause] Y&Z!
Sound Look correct? Now that we have established your close relationship with the alphabet, the question of fun comes back to mind. When was the last time you had fun with the letters? Perhaps it was during an intense game of Words with Friends, or maybe it was a pressure-cooker of a Boggle match. No? Okay, was it during try-and-keep-your-eyes-on-the-road version of the alphabet game or a memory-filled viewing of Sesame Street? Still no? Sadly, it is increasingly likely that you no longer have fun with letters.
Having fun with letters is an art. The key to unlocking this art is a change of perspective. The older you are, the more likely you are to think of letters as merely a means to an end; a tool that can used to achieve final product. Other than that brief moment of “drawing” your instinctively cursive name on a check or doodle, the fun is gone.
Don’t let it be. Embrace the fun and revert your perspective to that of younger you. Grab a pencil and paper or iPad and draw letters. Make the qs extra loopy and wRItE cRaaaZy LIKe withOut thOugHt Or cARe. This won’t be enough to change your perspective, but it will REstart the fun. The key word here is start. This is a REbeginning of a journey that you forgot you were on.
To begin to change your perspective, set aside an afternoon and grab a camera, a good pair of shoes, and walk around your city finding letters in unexpected places. During this quasi artist date, inspired by Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way, you’ll soon find the creative kid in you as your eyes are REopened to new possibilities.
Below you can see my recent Boston ABCs “RElearning” photos which hopefully can serve as inspiration.