megawriter

I am Meg Moseley. Meg, a writer. Seeking the real God in the real world.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Good magic

Do you remember the day you learned to read? I do. I even remember the first word I read for myself, the one that woke me up to the wild idea that I had the keys to deciphering all the marks on all the pages of all the books in the whole world. Well, the books written in English, anyway.

This was back in the days when kindergarten was play time. The real work didn't start until first grade, and then phonics ruled. This particular memory begins, not in class with Miss Simpson, but at home after school as I explained to my mother that R and E and D each made their own sounds, and if you put them together, they spelled RED. I think she pretended it was news to her so she wouldn't deflate my excitement. She needn't have worried.

Last year, I sat down with a friend who wanted to start writing a book, and I tried to share with her some of the most basic principles of writing. The most fundamental thing I could tell her was that words are a sacred gift from God and we shouldn't treat them lightly. Those marks we make on paper--the symbols that represent sounds that form words that we string together into sentences--they're the thoughts of one mind, recorded so they can be accessed later by another mind, a world away. A century away. Words can time-travel.

I remember a night when I'd been reading Tolkien out loud to our youngest, who was nine or ten at the time. On his way up the stairs to bed, he stopped and looked at me with an awestruck expression, probably the same way I'd looked when I figured out RED. "Mom," he said, "it's like a book holds magic inside."

Exactly.

3 Comments:

At August 12, 2005 1:48 PM, Blogger TS said...

Don't you love it when your children start developing a love for the language. My daughter (12) pulled out her copy of Count of Monte Cristo to show me again a phrase that she just loves, "Frailty thy name is woman." My other daughter (15) hates that phrase, but the younger one loves because of its resonance, not the meaning. Words are gifts , you are right

 
At August 13, 2005 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a classic line: "words can time travel"...

Sounds like the title of a really cool book. ;)

 
At August 14, 2005 6:05 PM, Anonymous Ane Mulligan said...

Isn't it great when that light goes on?

Good blog, Meg!

Ane

 

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