Thursday, August 19, 2010
Awash in a Sea of Words
Black letters march across white paper...Rebecca Wells knew what she was talking about in Little Altars Everywhere. The letters do seem to be on the march, stamping out the beat of an old manual typewriter even though we are long past those days. Or perhaps those marching symbols are really breaking waves. This house is awash in a sea of those black letters, forming words like "bill due," "course schedule," "parent signature," "depression or recession," "PTA," "Veterans Affairs," and "milk chocolate." Talk of politics finds itself face down on the floor, settling to the quieter bottom in favor of letters welcoming children back to school, bills waiting to be paid, and a chocolate bar wrapper. We all know that chocolate makes everything better, doesn't it?
Sometimes the tide rolls out, and the sound of birds calling or crickets chirping pushes the letters into a dusty corner. A quick rub of the ears of an old friend, followed by a nudge from a wet nose sends them flying under the refrigerator, peeking out in consternation. A break in the clouds lets sun shine in, drying off the inky mess for a while.
Then slowly the tide rolls back in, papers shift onto the desk into ranks of "to do," "read," "pin up," and "recycle," on the march again. Once more the waves of words lap at my heels, and I dive back into the ocean, hoping to make headway. It's obvious from the breakers that school is in session for another year.