It happens, sometimes, that a theme starts to nag. When a theme starts to nag it becomes the one thing that everyone in the world world seems to be talking about, the topic at hand in our daily Bible readings, and the haunting lullaby of our dreams.
Well, I am having one of those.
No, it isn't a revelation or epiphany of any great weight or import, so you may relax. I have not, I don't think, been given the answer to life, the universe and everything. That remains the number 42 and the Alpha Course (which now owns the Bible, I see).
Words, kids; words.
I have thinking about words. This came from a passing comment from a luminary theologian who lives on the manor when I asked him for some material for something I am planning. He said that he didn't but a friend of his is likely to have what I sought "in a
draw drawer". Oh, said I, that's great; he can email it over (the geezer lived in the land of Mandela and Table Mountain). No, David, these are words on a page, in a large file - properly and literally "in a draw".
And so the nagging started - words; words; words. Words, those things that explode light onto our world.
In my life, things are ordered on a device of the digital age. I type and I bluster for many hours a week (often for your edification, people, so listen up) typing and writing. The fact is, I am probably too fond of the sound of my own keyboard. What I write is either published in date order, or filed in the perplexity of files and sub-folders that are established on this here device and every thing has its place. I delete nothing and I file everything. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words.
It struck me that I probably wouldn't write half as much if I was at the mercy of the pen, quill or stylus. Actually, my handwriting had degraded to that of a doctor and is, therefore, illegible. Why? Because I never, ever, ever, write. I type. Or I write in capitals. The thing is, I hate writing as an literal pastime. My forearm aches, I am left-handed so smudge each syllable off of the page as I write it, I make an appalling mess because my spelling is atrocious (you will have noted that already, regular digesters of this offal) - and so in the days when I had to write, I just didn't unless I had to. The age of the Amstrad word processor, the home computer and then latterly the blog has given me lease of writing life that would have remained suppressed otherwise. Now I love writing, but only when it is to the chaotic drumbeat of a keyboard.
Once, monks toiled over parchments and then theologians sat in studies scribbling on to pads of paper. That all took far longer, each words crafted and prayed over. Every scintilla of every iota of every little bit of word was deliberate for Tippex wasn't invented, let alone the delete-button. This leaves one question, the question of my nag:
Are words cheaper because they can be mass-produced?