Oscar Wilde opined that life often imitates art, but once in a while, the philosophy reverses and art becomes life. I’ve seen it happen with my Reverend G series and recently, it happened again.
In the third Reverend G book – to be released late spring, 2015 – Reverend G purchases birthday cards for her son, Jacob, long before she begins to recede into the shadows of Alzheimer’s. She wants to celebrate with him even when she no longer remembers his birth date.
My son recently celebrated his 29th birthday and he received an interesting card from his grandmother. Although Mom hasn’t read any of the Reverend G books nor have I told her anything about Book # 3, art became life.
My sister found a birthday card for Caleb that Mom purchased several years ago, signed and wrote Caleb’s name on the envelope. In her tiny scrawl were the same words she once used for all his birthday cards, “Love you bunches – Grandma Arlene.”
Did she have some sort of premonition that this one card would be sent when she no longer remembered dates, when time itself became an extinct commodity in her mind?
Did she hope that her first grandchild would still cherish the grandmother who sits in assisted living and makes up stories that she believes are true? Did she want him to know that although she cannot remember his age or his career, she cares enough to ask the same questions over and over, “How’s Caleb? Is he doing okay? Tell him I think about him all the time.”
Did she wonder if she would still be living when that card was delivered? Or would it be the last greeting she would send to this boy she has loved?
When art becomes life, it gives me pause as a writer. Because I dedicate my words to the One who is the Word, I wonder how much of what pours out of me will manifest in the future.
Writers often use words for therapy as many of our past experiences show up in our books and characters. But we also face the responsibility of knowing that the words we use today might actually become reality tomorrow.
In that case, it behooves Christian writers to be even more cautious and ever alert for the voice of the Word within.
May the words of my mouth and those of my pen be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Savior and my God.
©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo