Wednesday, September 7, 2011

by what means?

there are some books i enjoy because of the story being told. there are other books, though, that i enjoy not only because of the story, but because of the way the story is written (pat conroy's beach music. loved walked in and belong to me, both by marisa de los santos). the writing moves me. the words move me. and i get caught up in the beautiful how instead of the what. even the wee free men (the first of many books i'm required, yet excited, to read thanks to my children's lit class), a novel by terry pratchett about the adventures of tiny red-headed men and witches, and a novel i'd never expect myself to enjoy, ended up grabbing me from the very beginning because of the author's witty and charming writing. and, once again, i find myself wrapped up in how something has been done instead of what has been done itself.

and it all seems to remind me of one little phrase. it's the thought that counts.

i'm a girl who has her preschoolers decorate cards with simple notes inside them every friday for their parents and caretakers. who believes in and defends intentions. who puts a great deal of thought behind how her words are spoken, written. and who thinks that sometimes, it's not so much about the story itself, and the what we do to fill our days, but how the stories are lived and shared. how our lives are filled.

there's a part in the wee free men when the young girl, tiffany, thinks her grandmother has put a lamb inside an oven to die (stick with me). she screams and cries and doesn't understand why. a little while later, her grandmother opens the oven and reveals the lamb, alive again. once she gets older, though, tiffany finds out that the oven was simply a space for warming the weak, cold and just-born lamb, no magic involved. "that was how it worked. no magic at all. but that time (that first time) it had been magic. and it didn't stop being magic just because you found out how it was done."

at first, tiffany only had the what, instead of the reasoning and the way. and sometimes, that's the magic, the what happened (the story itself). but then, she found the how. and, more often than not, at least to me, it is more the magic when we find the how (the reason and the way) behind it all.

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