The words you gave me

We apologize for the delay. The proprietor of this blog wishes to state that she was temporarily flattened by pizza sauce, sweet corn, and birthday parties.


Aw, you guys are so fun!

It’s chancy putting a game out there and not knowing if anyone will want to play. I loved watching you dig into your bookshelves. Your booklist was charming – reference books, all-time favorites, and even one of my dad’s titles – ranging from serious to slapstick. There were some classics, some inspirational, and some dry as toast, with a splash of whiskey (not recommended at home). Your kindness to me and each other was delightful. Thank you.

Did you know that one of you arranges her books by the colors of the rainbow – which pleases me to no end?

And these words…!

My friend Sheila emailed me to say that she checked four bookshelves hoping for something good. Four! and found “of” twice. “It’s a random word, dear, not a Message From Jehovah,” I told her. Her next email made me laugh. “At least it rhymes with love, she says, straightening.”

My friend Cris found page sixteen completely blank, between the introduction and part one of a medical tome. Very significant, that. If only I knew in what way.

We ended up with two main characters, Pat and Charles, besides dad and God. Your “boring” words held everything together (theoretically), and you had some winner nouns even though they didn’t know how to play nice with the other kids. The washstand and the R.R. were particularly unwieldy.

The following paragraph uses each of the words given me to date, and only those words, although some of them are used more than once.

Those schemes for the back door breakfast analogy you want will have dad as God. I want more green smoke for you. Pat schemes to have Charles for early breakfast. The washstand is in the windy October world. Charles is packing. Pat helps. I said I loved today. Charles had that last o’clock of life. The R.R. voices will have soul’s word in it. In Pat’s defense, I observe that Charles will have loved God.

I mean honestly, guys, it’s not a thing of great beauty. You can do better than this.

Are you sure you checked the right bookshelf?

Okay.

Well, that was silly and fun. What would you compose from our word list?

The fourth word on the page

Confession: This past Sunday morning I was trying to impress my Sunday school kids with how smart God is.

He knows how many hairs are on your head, I said, even counting the ones that fell out while you were brushing them this morning.

He knows how many leaves are on that tree.

He knows what’s going to happen next.

He knows what you’re thinking inside your mind, whether or not you’re listening to me. (I can’t tell.)

There is no question you could ask him that he wouldn’t know the answer to.

You could say, Think of the Meadville Public Library, upstairs, tenth book on the top shelf, page sixteen, what’s the fourth word on the page? And he would know just like that.

I could tell they were listening then; their mouths opened.

I didn’t really expect that to say that. I guess it’s true. Is it true?

Okay, but ever since then I can’t stop thinking about those books. At home, I went to my nearest bookshelf, pulled the tenth book from the top shelf, opened to page sixteen, looked for the fourth word. It was –

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I thought it would be fun if you told me what yours is. Maybe it’s a secret code. Maybe together we would spell out something of great beauty. It would be fun to try.

At the very least, if we said what book it came from, we could compile a delightfully random to-read list.

This week

Confession: This week I spoke a greater volume of ridiculous words than I ever intended to. Some of them I cannot recall without a wave of horror. Chances are, if you had an email, text or personal conversation with me this week, I made a fool of myself.

This week I lay on my couch a lot, with back pain.

This week I heard words of folly from a man sought out for his wisdom.

This week I read a horrifying story of epilepsy in a little girl whose mother I love.

This week I got news that a childhood friend passed away from cancer.

This week a voice on the phone said, “I’d rather you heard it from me than from another source…”

This week, the day I planned to spend with my grandma fell through. And the weekend I planned with my sister. And the visit I planned with a close friend and her daughters.

This week I failed a test or two, and I cried.

This week my faith in the goodness of the world is shaken.

But I hear tomorrow starts a new week, isn’t that right? Sunday is coming. God is still good. There will be time with my man, alone on a getaway. There will be time, if I am lucky, to write and write. There will be more small warm arms around my neck, more beautiful music, more blue sky and falling leaves.

I hope for less news.

*****

How was your week?