Friday, September 14, 2012
what word shall it be?
after astrid and willa went back to texas i discovered a piece of creased notebook paper written in pencil and submerged in a pile of odds and ends. as i held the paper portion of the accumulated stuff over the recycle bin—ready to release my hold and let it all slip away—i stopped. i decided to leaf through the detritus to verify that it was, in fact, junk, and not something of value in need of being saved. i'm glad i took the time to do so because under the advertising circulars, magazines, and envelopes enticing me with offers of credit cards, vinyl siding and replacement windows, i found this small gem, a gem from the mind of a young child on vacation in a place she had never before experienced.
astrid had begun to form ideas off the letters that spell "maine" (is there a name for doing this? an acrostic or something?) and then, at some point, seems to have been abruptly interrupted. she might have left her writing behind to eat dinner, or to head out on a fun excursion, or to get ready for bed; or she might have been distracted by her sister or the dog or the lure of a campfire and s'mores. whatever the case may have been, she never resumed her writing and the paper was forgotten and abandoned.
as i read the words i had found, i smiled. the girls had only left two days before, but already the events of the previous fourteen days had formed themselves into a prized collection of memories, the kinds of memories that are sweet and persistent and insist on being mulled over.
for your information, maine, it turns out, is "mainly cold"and yet it is also an "amazing place"; it is where imaginings and dreams are sparked, and the "not a warm sea" stretches to the horizon.
but then what? what about the last letter of the word m-a-i-n-e? what about that final "e"? astrid's writing suddenly ends, leaving the sorry looking "e" hanging there, and leaving me wanting more. what else were you going to say, little girl? the incomplete "e" stands by itself, lonely and unfinished at the bottom of the page. what could have come next in her thought process about maine? what might she have been thinking? what would the "e" have become? what else could she have added?
perhaps the "e" might have started off the word enjoyable. or energetic. or easygoing? or how about exquisite, extraordinary, eventful? maybe excited to explore someplace new. maine overflows with all these words.
or eating perhaps—we did a lot of that. the girls tasted lobster for the first time, although willa didn't particularly care for it. but that was fine with me—i love lobster and got to devour her leftovers.
i have taken the delightful piece of work and, for the time being, have tucked it away in a safe place. perhaps the author might finish it at a later date—at least i hope, i really hope, that's what will happen.