Do you remember the day when words opened up your universe?
“As soon as she realized the figures on the page meant something–could be strung together as words, and then sentences, and then paragraphs–she was covetous of the whole system. It seemed a new universe to her. And it was. Everything opened up.”- The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
Do you remember the day it dawned on you that writing on a page meant something?
I remember practicing making individual letters on wide-ruled paper, both capitals and lower case letters. I remember being happy when I could print my name, followed by useful words I heard around the house.
But, as novelists often say about long-ago events, the day I understood words on a page opened up my universe is lost in the mists of time.
Sure, like young Angeline in The Orchardist, I saw that some writing informed and some entertained and that other words were “crafted to carry some secret, and even more than that, some secret about herself.”
I marvel at the power of words, the way the figures on a page string together into sentences, paragraphs and stories. What I can no longer marvel at, because I don’t remember it, is the way I felt when I first knew these things to be true.
There had to be a day, didn’t there, when the intent of alphabets and words became obvious? Perhaps the drudgery of studying spelling and grammar overwrote that special day in my mind. If I could remember, I think the memory would be dazzling.
Do you remember that day in your young life? If you do, write it down and put it into words on a page so that the moment never goes away.
The Kindle edition of Malcolm R. Campbell’s novella Conjure Woman’s Cat will be on sale on Amazon on Friday, April 10, 2015 for 99 cents.