In the beginning, books were my friends. Now the reverse is true.
Here are some of my favorites.
She is trendy and popular. I wonder why she hangs out with me. She takes me places I’d never go alone. She pulls me into the crowd where we line dance with a dozen copies, eyes wild, until our cheeks blush. We cluster round, snap our Chiclets, and flap about Hermes bags, platinum cards and New York brownstones, the trappings of modern day Babylon. I nod in agreement, glance over my shoulder. We snicker like the female side of a seventh grade dance, hands over mouths, and it feels so good to belong. I get home too late, drop my shiny jacket on the floor, and sleep off the nagging knowledge that you are what you eat.
She is always within reach. I never regret making time for her. We stake out the comfy chairs and curl up in the corner, knowing in a blink the gust from the next several hours will flip over that “Open” sign. She draws me in and I rest in her presence, drink in familiar stories. Her words are slathered in butter. She Cross-references me and tells me the ways of wise women. I want everyone to know what a friend she is, but I mute my reviews because, really, I want her all to myself. She has stayed with me through dark chapters to remind me that this is not the end. No, this is not how it will end. She lets me take my time.
They are a sticky pile, covered in marker. Crumbs hide in their creases. I kick away Legos, settle into my spot. I tuck them in tight, bend back corners and smooth covers. He whispers of secret passages. She bursts with color and song. We blend together until Jesus and Noah sail off to the Goodnight Moon. I lose myself in their scent of peanut butter and lavender, which I want to bottle in a sippy cup so I can rediscover it ten times over. I notice my inscription all over them, still awed by how it got there. They are bite-sized pieces of poetry in motion. I memorize their words, their art. We share giggles and tears, then more giggles — always ending in giggles. I linger long after they are finished.
He is rough and unpolished, fully dedicated to me. He is the co-editor to our work in progress. We meet barefoot over wine and hot dogs to trade stories from a day of meetings and meeting needs. We discuss the friction between our developing characters and, in grace, strike out whole sections. We laugh as we trade new quotes and rehash old ones. Sometimes a lot is accomplished; other nights we just sit and mull it over. His eyes are always on the goal, and I can trust him to make the close calls. We make a good team. Still, I try to imagine the earlier drafts of his life story, before I entered the scene. He knows, but does not hold it against me.
I ponder these relationships as I sit with the “Word became flesh” and search for meaning. How would these dear ones describe me? Which version of myself is closest to the truth? How much is lost in translation and does it even matter? There is already One, Word undefinable, who knows. And His Story, praise God, is not all about me. He is the Author of all mystery; the already but not yet. So I spin in this holy reversal where down is up, last is first, and end is beginning, ears piqued for the trumpet blast when we will burst free of time and place, falling up like gilded, paper-thin confetti into white space — the shimmer of divine celebration.
*Inspiration sparked by the weekly writing prompt so generously provided by Amber C. Haines as part of her Concrete Abstractions series at http://www.therunamuck.com.