Friday, February 23, 2007

“Chickenblog scratches the surface.” That statement is my disclaimer. I do not write second drafts. I run everything through spell check, then hope for the best. I think many of my topics are simple enough not to need multiple rewrites, research, editing and revising. And other times, when my subject is deeper, my thoughts more elaborate, well then I suppose they are fated to suffer. In those instances when I have not checked my facts, rethought sentence structure or picked up a thesaurus, then Chickenblog may be sketchy, too brief, confusing, wrong.

I write with a child at my breast, or pulling me to the floor to play with trains and teapots. I write while explaining additive inverse algebraic operation. I write when everything else in the world demands my attention. Second drafts and research, editing and revision; these are luxuries of the leisure class. I am in the trenches, writing from the home front and there is no time for Starbucks and book clubs in this foxhole. Some days it smells bad around here, like standing water, stale flowers, exhaustion, and still I climb my way over the laundry, around the Lego bricks to my desk and I report it as I see it. It is raw and gritty, uncensored. My thoughts come pouring out, honest, fresh, dazed and dirty. Four children, pets, bills and home schooling, being a room mom, a wife, a citizen; these are not only my subjects; they are my obstacles, my speed bumps.

Chickenblog scratches the surface, comes up with something juicy or merely sustaining, then it moves on to the next task, the next crisis, project, tea party. But some day I want to grow up and be a real life writer. I want to be a writer that understands syntax, absolute modifiers, split infinitives, and the value of research and elaboration. Some day I hope to develop a fictional character with unique, intricate qualities and then set her life in motion in a world of my creation and yet intimately real. My story will be alive with facts, but sustained with emotion and thought provoking philosophies about human values and ideals. (Spell check says two of the sentences in this paragraph are sentence fragments. Hell.)

Apart from being a real writer, I wanted to list the modern miracles. I believe there are miracles all around me and I delight in them. When I thought of listing the modern miracles, it occurred to that I should know the true definition of a miracle. I wasn’t sure if Christians own the word, and whether I would be committing some variety of blasphemy by applying the wrong usage of the word “miracle” to “television remote.” So, in contradiction of Chickenblog’s disclaimer, I did some research.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Miracle: Main Entry: mir·a·cle
Pronunciation: 'mir-i-k&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin miraculum, from Latin, a wonder, marvel, from mirari to wonder at
1 : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
2 : an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
3 Christian Science : a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

Which led me to ask, “What is spiritual law?” And here is the problem with asking questions: There are a lot of answers. I’m supposed to be paying bills today, plus I need to move the tent off the lawn before we kill the grass. So, now the quality of my research can be called in to question, because frankly I am looking for a quick fix. I am looking for a bumper sticker definition of spiritual law.

Spiritual Law is many things to many faiths, but I think this works: “To love God and to love our neighbor is the fulfillment of spiritual law.” But there are 11, 200, 000 other articles and authorities on the subject of spiritual law. Now I am feeling the pressure, the constraint of time, the looming aura of domestic responsibilities, so let’s keep it simple. Let’s say that a miracle is an extremely outstanding event that may be a divine intervention and that could arguably be fulfilling a spiritual law, if spiritual law includes love of God and neighbor.
Does that work?
No time to revise.
Must trudge forward.
Where was I?

Miracles. I find miracles all around me and I’m not sure we take the time to be in awe of and grateful for the many seemingly simple occurrences and devices that make our lives wonderful. With my car keys is a small black control with buttons, and by pushing these tiny buttons I can cause my car doors to unlock and even to open remotely. I do not have to touch the car, pull handles or even be standing near my vehicle to open two large, sliding doors. When my arms are full, as I approach my car I can prepare it for boarding, and it even turns on welcoming, guiding, assuring lights. This is a convenience, a luxury, a stress reliever and it also gives me a sense of security, amuses me and makes my life more pleasant. The remote key is a miracle. I love God and my neighbor and the inventor of the remote key. I love Geoff for working to earn money, so we could buy the nice mini van with sliding doors and seat heaters and remote control key.

There are more miracles, but I am out of time.

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