What I Learned from Mashing
Over at Middle Zone Musings, they're mashing. Not potatoes. But topics. School, writing, children, television, recreation, relatives, movies, friends, heroes, planes, food, pets, trains, time, space, automobiles, technology, mountains.
The challenge is to write something using at least two or, for the brave and inspired, ALL of the topics in a piece about... well, about anything one could come up with in a pinch...
I seriously thought of submitting the digital file of Stone Crossings, but decided that might infringe on copyright laws. Too bad. There are heroes (Indiana Jones and God both count, right?) There are automobiles (like the one in which my father broke the news about his fifth marriage).
Of course there are children, who play in creekbeds and poke in the dirt. Relatives (oh boy, are there... steps, halves, you name it... 18 siblings picked up along the sorry way.)
There's a school, where I hid in the bathroom, to weep during a season of being pursued by a good (bad) hunter. Of course, there's something on writing. How could a writer produce an entire book without mentioning writing? I remember putting something in there about Annie Dillard's writing process teaching me stuff about Sabbath.
Now, television stymied me. But then I recalled telling the story of my stepfather's temporary penchant for knobs. All kinds. Off of everything, including the TV. Hidden from us. (Oh, but he should have hidden the wrenches too! Where there's a will there's a way, as they say.)
Unlike television, movies came easy, since I watch them for recreation. Wit, for instance, became a great entree to discuss crossing the River Rhode (like unto the River Styx... a symbol of fording our way to the eternal.) Okay, that's a little hard to explain without summarizing the whole chapter. (Technology fails me here, or maybe my typing fingers are just lazy. For those who simply MUST understand the point, I could suggest borrowing Stone Crossings from a friend.
There's a brief mention of how I don't like to leave my family, especially not by plane.
Oh! And, can you believe it? Besides making mention of the man who threw our food out into the snow (and, ouch, our pet puppies into the pond), Stone Crossings actually has a vignette that includes... this is too good... mashed potatoes. [note to Robert: really, I'm not making that up].
I'm thinking that the poetic appearance of Venus rising counts for the topic of space. She rises right over the Hudson, just above the train line. Stone Crossings leaves out the part about the train, but it's there in spirit, directly across the river from the Palisades Cliffs, which are nothing more than mountains gouged by a passing glacier. The cliffs show up in a chapter about doubt.
At last there is time— for Stone Crossings traces a life through time. In hopes of healing the vagaries of hard times. In hopes of revealing the promises of time redeemed by God's hand.
Which is all to say, dear Robert, that I learned you can mash a whole bunch of topics together to make a blog post that kind of confuses people. Or you can take up a lot more time and space and mash up something for the night stand. Or the beach. The mountains. Or even a book club for cyber-friends.
Phew. I feel sufficiently mashed.