fresh page

24 May

I stood before a corkboard canvas.corkboard canvas
I had tried to use it for announcements, for posting volunteer schedules.

But nobody seemed to really pay attention to anything there.

So it became a canvas, even as the whole bookstore was and is a canvas, really. A fresh page on which to scribble and scrabble. A collage of mementos. A St. Christopher necklace someone used to pay for candy. A “Get Out of Hell Free” card someone thought might come in handy for me (imagine). A “my name is GEEK” button. Someone had the gall to think that would fit. Pictures of friends who have died. Snapshots of small groups gathered, faces beaming. A mock-up bumper sticker reading “God Loves Grumpy Pharisees.”

People always asked where they could buy one of those.

So I stand before it. Before eight years. My own gradually accumulated work of art.

And now it’s time to go.
My tenure in the store is up.

I shed it like an old skin and make room for the next. Doctor regeneration. I don’t want to go.

A moment of nostalgia. Of celebration tinged with sorrow.Doctor_Who_regenerating
How do I undo you? How do I erase you?

fresh pageThen, with great vigor, I pull out every staple, every tack. With alarming joy and anticipation I remove every last piece of the past, the memories, the words, the faces, all of it, a layer of fresh snow now melted and absorbed into my very soul while every outward sign of that eight year accumulated layer is removed.


And then I stand before a blank corkboard canvas.

A fresh page.

Like my life.


That evening I sit down with one of my latest, lingering reads – The Book Thief by Zusak.

My eyes fall upon this scene:

In one of their basement sessions, Papa dispensed with the sandpaper and pulled out a brush. There were few luxuries in the Hubermann household, but there was an oversupply of paint, and it became more useful for Leisel’s learning. Papa would say a word and the girl would have to spell it aloud and then paint it on the wall, as long as she got it right. After a month, the wall was recoated.

A fresh cement page.


God is so faithful to give us words.
And he will even use a Zusak to do it.
It filled me with a holy, devouring joy to paint it all over.
No more sorrow on this palette.
No mooning over past pages.

“Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.”

Oh yes.

What a marvelous blank corkboard canvas.
What a joy to be emptied right out of this place.

Recoat it all.
Give it all a fresh face.

Nose, cheeks, eyes, ears, hair! Still not ginger, but that’s okay…

Make my life a fresh fleshy page.

And write.

_U5B7077April 26, 2013.cr2


Posted by on May 24, 2014 in haverings


Tags: , , , , , ,

6 responses to “fresh page

  1. ThinkingItOver

    May 25, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Your tenure is up or the corkboard’s tenure is up?

  2. wordhaver

    May 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Both. Just freed from running a store, making room for another, taking a whole lot of room for my soul immersing in reading, in writing, and in people’s faces. Oh yes, very good.

  3. Carolyn Dietrich

    May 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I will miss you being there each Sunday and the bookstore the way it’s been. However, new beginnings are good and I am glad you are embracing it. Thank you for all you’ve done to make the bookstore an inviting, fun and thoughtful place to enter.

  4. Linda

    May 28, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    A new face with all the memories of the previous; so glad it is a repository that is bigger on the inside. This new one, bringing back old worlds to experience in new ways, looks good on you too.

  5. wordhaver

    May 29, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Best comment EVER :o)


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