Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whiteboards, Blackboards and Wordscapes

"It is not enough to like good books.
You must be a good book yourself."
Francois de Fenelon

"In the beginning was the Word.."
John 1:1

Today is day seven of my fast and my books are calling to me. I love books. The affair began with Pop's Reader's Digest Condensed collection. They made a good highway for Matchbox cars. The uniform size and large quantity afforded me bridges, tunnels- even skyscrapers to frame my literary landscapes. Everything changed when one day I looked inside them. I discovered wordscapes. My Mom allowed me to join a Book of the Month club, in lieu of allowance. Still, five decades later, books remain my highway.  But it is from books I am fasting.

Sunday, my wife asked, "Why do you read so much?"
My immediate response was, "It interests me." I knew there was more but I couldn't articulate more. So I  pondered that question the rest of the day. Then it occurred to me, the truer reason why I read- first, I continually seek answers to a never ending list of questions and second, I want to know what others think.

These titles patiently await my return:
edited by Mel Ahlborn and Ken Arnold
by Philip Ball
by Philip Ball
by Christine Valters Paintner
by Steven Pressfield
by L.L. Barkat
by Eugene Peterson

I haven't placed all reading on hold, just 'informational pleasure' reading. For twenty one days I have chosen to read Scripture, work-related emails and student work only (I teach a creative writing class... I can't ignore their words for three weeks. If you'd like to read some of their words, click here).  I have noticed that, while I am not reading more scripture, I am 'chewing' on the text longer. After all, one of the purposes of fasting is re-focusing, restoring clarity to our time-perspectives through reflection, or as they say in the South, "Chewin' on somethin' different for a spell." As an aside, I've noticed notes and drawings that have worked themselves into my Bible. Here are a couple of them, transcribed to my Moleskine pocket journal:

Theatrum Dei
Calvin Seerveld
Four Stages of Mastery
Lance Wallnau
As I reflected on the sketches, I thought about the lectures associated with them. Both, Dr. Seerveld and Mr. Wallnau, used Whiteboards for visual aid. I like chalk. It's earthy. I like the residue of words on my fingertips. Sometimes I let it remain. But, this is the 21st Century. This is the age of the Whiteboard.

Fourteen days of "chewin' on somethin' different" remain.

Here is a photo from one of my lectures for you to chew on- 
The Hands and Feet of Art
Michael Carter

Photo by
Samuel Carter


  1. Sometimes I miss the residue, don't you? :)

  2. Actually, these days I use the chalkboard as often as the whiteboard.