The marginalia of your life defines you better than the headlines.
Marginalia. All those little highlighted phrases? Notes jotted down in the margins of your Earth Science text from college? Favorite nicknames with arrows in your school yearbooks? Words you underlined because you wanted to remember to Google?
Marginalia. Thoughts that came to you while reading in Proverbs or 1st John. A powerful quote from Spinoza, say, or Churchill you wanted to add to your quotation library.
Marginalia. Want to find out where a person’s everyday ideas and thoughts go for walks? Don’t read their professional stuff. Check out their sticky notes – especially the little pint-sized 2″ x 1 1/2″ ones you can stick in any book with just the tip showing.
Marginalia is most easily identified as the sticky notes of one’s life.
I just began my 63rd year. Big deal. ‘Nother birthday. So? Pull up Facebook, find “_______ and _______ have birthdays today”, then click on “write something on ______’s timeline”. Rattle off some hurried words, bip on POST and you’re outta there. Few seconds’ worth of faux “as if”. No big deal.
Unless you were expected to run out of birthdays at 45. And 49. And 51.
Then seeing your 63rd one is, well, HEEE-YOOODJE!
What I’m trying to say is that living when even Medicine says you can’t be is a thing of fulgence.
As a favorite new author, Spencer Quinn, has his canine protagonist often think, “So therefore . . .”
Consider this my deep thanks to so many of you for sending best wishes and God’s blessings over my birthday. Most of you don’t know it was also my mother’s; she would have been 105.
Your extra words and personal asides brought me joy, laughter, reminiscences and even a few tears. God never blessed a man more with such enduring friendships as yours. And though that comes across as plural, I want to make it personal.
A man or woman is known, shaped by those they regularly hang with. A favorite author and unwitting mentor, Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones often said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
I want you – you personally – to know how knowing you enriches my life. You are part of the reason I choose to invest my best energy of each day writing: working this 2nd Cup of Coffee blog, continuing work on books, and trying to keep up with Granger’s adventures with his unforgettable bunch of friends. His stories often take on a life of their own, which – as the best writers tell me – is when you know you’re actually standing on the doorstep, nerves pinging, knocking on the door of Real Writinghood.
The other reason is that God seems to have kept me here for this activity I’ve come to love. My internal alarm is set for 0430. If I’m not careful, I tend to disappear even with family and guests present, only to be found at my keyboard plinking away at this or that project. I’m told I often get ‘that’ look and immediately start hunting for the nearest pen and paper. I’ve even been known to ‘work’ through meal times. If you know my story, you gotta know that’s a big thing.
So. Thank you for the part you play. You keep coming back to read more, and you keep forwarding these messages to others, most of whom I’ll never meet this side of God’s Place.
One apology: I began a series last year, “28 Ways To Absolutely NAIL ‘Tremendous'”. The bain of writing several projects concurrently is keeping materials separate without losing track of them. Since I despise sitting with nothing to do, I take a small bag of notebooks, pens and at least one book I’m reading whenever I go out knowing I must wait.
You’re ahead of me. As soon as I find my master list, I’ll dig back into finishing that series. Be vewwy, vewwy quiet while I hunt it down. . .
You can be praying with and for me as I continue organizing thoughts and composing this book about my healing. My biggest nemesis is distraction – or, more correctly, allowing distractions to frustrate the process. If you’re a writer, you’ll get this.
Also, Granger had an interesting summer I’ll be telling you about. I don’t want to give it away, so I’ll just say it might have something to do with a strange coffee container, a headless bear rug, an electric drill and some whipping cream.
Until then . . . you helped make this a super birthday. Since I see every fresh 24 hours as a direct gift from God to me, to celebrate 365 of ’em is the bee’s knees! Thank you!
I love you and I believe in you,
© D. Dean Boone, October 2015