Guest Post by Isabel Anders
I got the idea from reading Jeremy Driscoll’s book A Monk’s Alphabet (Boston: New Seeds, 2006). He had structured his reflections around the letters of the alphabet and the result is a charming and insightful portrait of the life of a contemporary monk and priest.
I could envision a wide range of topics from A to Z. ... What a great framework on which to hang a blog series, I thought, and my Alphabetarium pieces began—with A Is for Attitude http://www.blogher.com/attitude
I’m nearing the end of my alphabetical ponderings at this point, and more recent “letter-specific blogs” based on selected words can be found at my Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom site: V Is for Verve. http://isabelanders.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/v-is-for-verve/
One advantage of following a “set course” in your blogging is knowing exactly what will come next: in this case a word beginning with the next alphabetical letter.
Subjects for my blogs have included: Balance; Create; Dialogue; Eye—Journey; Kything; Lit-major and Meme. Not to mention Peace and Quest ...
I’ve enjoyed choosing a word to define and reflect aloud about, with very personal applications popping up, sometimes unexpectedly.
In U Is for Uncommon, for instance, I wrote:
Uncommon is sort of a funny word—not common, unusual—that I chose to describe my Mother-Daughter Wisdom collections. I guess the most unusual part is probably the form that I used: short, succinct dialogues between an unnamed, nonspecific age-period Mother and Daughter.
“Why do I feel one way toward my Destiny now, and the next day another?” asked the Daughter, perplexed.
“The way itself is more of a labyrinth than a direct path,” her Mother assured her. “You will learn more from the arcs and curves and unexpected byways than from the straight lines of your journey.”
Perhaps simply to talk about Meaning in everyday life is Uncommon in itself. Yet all of our day-to-day experiences with those closest to us are continually teaching us something—and if it is Uncommon to seek to make those implicit lessons explicit—here’s to Uncommon discourse.
But I’m aware too of the irony in the adjective Uncommon. In a sense, this homespun wisdom is extremely common, in that it is “struck up” (to change the metaphor) all the time between many individuals—like matches being mutually lit by flinty contact. I just chose to mark some instances of its creation and pass it on.
And in my Alphabetarium blogging, I’ve also found a way to choose some Uncommon themes and give them space to grow.
Now on to W, X, Y, and Z!
Isabel Anders is the author of mother-daughter books Becoming Flame and Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold, as well as the recently released literary study Miss Marple: Christian Sleuth (Circle Books, 2013).