This week, I've been reading The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon. It's the kinda-not-too-distant- futuristic story of a world dependent on smart "Memes" (think a very sophisticated smart phone that can anticipate your needs with just your thoughts) in which the English language is about to be phased out. I've written down several quotes from it already, and I'm not even halfway done. To be honest when I read this part last night, I knew it was the perfect one for this inaugural post.
"When I was eight, he made me a dazzling blue and silver sword encrusted with sequins (which soon fell off). Amazed, I asked how he'd made it. "Wood and glue," he said, shrugging. It had become one our tropes, with different meanings - it could be used to signify something either magical or very prosaic. But mostly we said it when we meant "toughen up"; that we can fashion our strength from whatever we want."
Wood and glue. Yeah, I like that. We can fashion our strength from lots of different sources. For me it's music or words, my faith or wearing a favorite item of clothing or jewelry or by drawing up a memory of another happy time. I once was caught in the middle of a very contentious battle of the wills at work and consciously made the choice to wear a locket my husband had given me with pictures of both of my children inside. It made me feel stronger and reminded me what I was fighting for. There are lots of mornings when I just need to hear a certain song to get me ready to face another day. And quotes. My God, the quotes I've run through my head that have helped me "toughen up" over the years!
Another reason I think this struck such a chord with me is that I'm all about a good trope. Growing up in my family, we had all kinds. "Bad news, Bert, " and "Nature of the beast," are two that spring to mind immediately.
So I'll be adopting that expression now. Wood and glue - the best words this week.