My boys loved Lego. I love dithering about with words. I find it similar – you take tiny little pieces of things and then stick them together to make something larger and more special than any of them alone. Similar to needle felting, another recent craze.

I’m distracted today. It’s gorgeous outside and on Facebook, the latest issue of Lapham’s Quarterly is being talked about. From what I can tell, it’s all about words. There have been some wonderful postings about marginalia, those things others have written on the edges of books, around the type. I must confess I treasure these myself when I find them. They let me feel a link to the others who read the book, give me a window into their thoughts.

So in my little mind, I start to think about what it would be like if libraries had a section where people were encouraged to write comments in the books…and I vow that I’ll be making notes in my own books. They’ll help me understand myself as I look back.

I find my scrawlings in old cookbooks are revealing, for example. I see notes about who liked what, about how to make things better, about recipes I vowed never to make ever again.
But I rarely write in other books. I was always told this was unspeakably evil.

and yet…

Playing with words means breaking some of the rules – putting the red Lego brick where the grey one should go, turning castles into spaceships, walks into mystical voyages.

Maybe it’s time to write outside the lines.

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