It’s Not A Thing

Have you ever noticed babies when they’re first learning to talk? They don’t have real words, but they begin to mimic the sounds adults make… also, they usually do this mimicking while an adult is talking. When the adult stops talking, the child stops, too. They haven’t quite understood that talking is about exchanging something, they seem to think it’s just another human thing to make noise with your mouth, and they remember they want to try this only when others are moving their mouths.

This, then, is how my writing mind is currently behaving. When I’m reading a real book, or listening to an audiobook, there are half phrases and shadowy stories chattering away, mindlessly behind the real words that someone else has written. It’s more of a feeling than of real words- like those babbling babies, who also are not saying real things, but copy-emoting.

When I’m not reading/listening to the writing of others, my brain is like those gloriously desiccated waste lands in a Cormac McCarthy novel. Not only are they void of story, the landscape remains chalked in featureless dust.

And writing about how I’m not writing is as much as I can manage.

Also, I really love the word desiccated. Ubiquitous, superfluous, redacted, entropic.

My English Composition professor said that writer’s block is not a thing: you just have to lower your standards. So I guess I’ll have to get low.

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The Frenzied Feast

I find the most age confusion these days when I try to decide on which book to read. A good 8 years has been stolen by busyness, transition and social media. I was not yet 30yrs old when I could last honestly call myself a Reader, and therefore as I approach 40 at a moderate gallop I realize I have missed a few things.

In my teens I was all sensation; horror novels, trashy romance, decadent fantasy mixed with science fiction. In my twenties I turned suddenly quite serious and read gobs of books on spiritual topics, some that would now put me to sleep.

When I should have spent my early thirties steeped in history and biography, instead I moved several times, got married and then divorced and hit refresh on my facebook home page one billion times. It was only recently that I recognized how drastically these occupations atrophied my thought life.

And so I have begun to read books again but it is much like feeding a person who has been starving for years. There must be many broth meals before anything like steak will digest. I imagine at some point the Eater begins to have more mental and emotional hunger for food than her body can support. She finds herself writing elaborate menus that will take her years to fulfill, even while what she actually eats are bizarre little half meals. Homemade banana pudding and soft pretzels for breakfast, pickles and black tea with cream at 10, pot roast and raspberry sherbet for lunch. She institutes a tea time, though she’s American, and she buys short bread and can’t decide between a dark beer or a mug of hot chocolate…

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Just To Be Clear

I have read several articles on the when and the where of using, and not using, Christian jargon (this one being the funniest), but I would like to propose that it has no place at all in the communication of faith.

In a post about words, an “official” definition seems appropriate:

Jargon = special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

Probably the most slanted definition I found was this:

Jargon = a form of language regarded as barbarous, debased, or hybrid.

There are several places where verbal short hand and specialized phrases are handy. They make work and study more efficient if the jargon exchange is between two people “in the know.”

Unfortunately, because people love to sound smart, they will often use their specialized language with people who are not “in the know” either as a way of detecting such fools, or to impress newbies or outsiders…

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What to Expect

Without planning it, my room decor and bedding all match. I noticed this as soon as I cleaned up a little.

Maybe there will be surprises like this around other corners.

It’s not that I put a lot of stock in the much anticipated new year. They happen with increasing frequency. What I do put stock in is God’s character, which I have recently discovered to be wild, deep, loving and fearless. I want to be like him, sure, but more than that I want to just keep seeing him more and more. And somehow the year ahead feels like a clean canvas upon which he will paint something beautiful….

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