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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blank Books

Until blogging came along blank books were my thing. Now I rarely write in my journals. The background graphics on my blog show book shelves with no bottoms or tops filled with endless books on them. Here’s the other interesting thing about the books on those shelves, they have no visible titles, no visible authors, and nothing on the insides of them is visible. I think it’s symbolic of our personal lives. The covers hide us and what they do reveal looks so similar to the other book covers that it renders them of little interest. On the other hand, the page on top tells what the eye cannot see, something the words can’t spell. It tells of the author, but it tells even more of the reader. The reader sees himself, his tastes, his expertise, his compassion, his interest or lack of it, - well, you see what I mean. 

If the story on these pages told itself in pictures we’d either be hooked as in TV or turn to another channel. Maybe Facebook would capture our time. But the blank books I’m thinking of are the ones that are being written today as the minutes turn into hours. We have an idea of what the day might bring but it’s like a title with no words following. We have to write the page and read it too. Will I get the clutter of magazines and letters and books sorted out today? If I do, how long will it be before I need to do it again? Will Katie get the job after her interview this morning? She thinks so. “I’ll get that job, Grandma. It’s perfect for me and only five minutes away.” I admire her certainty but always qualify it.

My thought about the future goes something like this: We’re each one of us in his or her right place at the right time. The events in our lives are all a part of some vast harmonious whole and often not at all what they appear to be, as my former blog about the sunset brought out. I tell Katie and she nods in agreement. Her confidence and my theory await the unfolding of the day’s events and there are untold unnumbered unknowns. Somehow the pieces will come together in some way like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. 

Do I really believe that? I’m not sure. It would mean that the picture on the puzzle was completed some time ago, that the future will only restore the whole scene of what already is. It would be a fatalistic view of life, one we have only to step into cautiously and let play out. I prefer to think we have more of a hand in painting the picture.

You see, as we grow older we generally take more time to think things out. We need to watch out that we don’t become mere spectators, live our lives vicariously through others. Book-reading, television, movies, the daily news, and what goes on in the lives of those nearest and dearest, all these are all right if they don’t eclipse one’s own unique purpose in the grand scheme of things. And what is that? Well, if you do as I do, you’ll sit down and begin to write. You smarter ones may skip that step; you'll just be up and doing. Ideas tend to come out of blank pages, whether on paper, electronic devices or getting right down to business. We need at some time to get up and start doing. See what happens, pray along the way that wisdom and love are leading, and before you know it that page is done. Like this one.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if you have printed out hard copies of these BLOGs? Always good to have a backup copy. I also wonder if you read older versions of your BLOGs, would you find that they were still relevant or in need of updating? I ask this as I may someday publish these writings in your honor! Here's what got me thinking about this:

    We've been reading a book by Clifford P. Smith called Historical Sketches from the Life of Mary Baker Eddy and the History of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy's first edition of her textbook, Science and Health, had been less than wonderful. It was full of errors and misprints from the first publisher. So, as she recounts, "I had spent one year of incessant toil upon the second manuscript of my book, Science and Health, and put it into the hands of a printer for publication, who, I found, had allowed it to be taken from his possession, and I was thus obliged to return, in the sackcloth of disappointment, without it." She kept at the writing, though, and when she passed away, 35 years later, she had revised the book 432 times!! She explains why on page 361:21 of her textbook.