Monday, June 04, 2007

Keep on Going

By C.L. Beck
© 2007

The other day I was perusing a booklet in my favorite reading room, the library—also known in my house as the powder room. Or, to be less politically correct, the bathroom.

Ah-ha, the stuff in this booklet would make great information to put in a blog, I thought, glancing through it.

I sat down on Friday to write about what I'd read, thinking the theme should travel a serious, grown-up track. The title of “Persistence” came to me, but since that was the name of the booklet, I vetoed it. After scratching my head and pondering for a bit, a new title popped into my brain—“Keep on Going”.

It seemed logical. It seemed reasonable. But what I didn’t know was that after hearing the word "bathroom", the naughty, inner child that hides in my mind had suggested it.

My goal was to write about inspirational, lofty ideas. The wayward kid wanted to tell you about an incident that happened when I was young.

Honest, I tried to shoo that naughty child away, but you know how the voices in your head refuse to cooperate. Especially the ones that are only nine years old. It appears you’re stuck hearing the story, whether I want you to or not.

When I was a kid and would see my dad striding with purpose through the hallway, I’d always say, “Where are you going?”

He’d reply, “To the library.” It seemed so unfair that he was going without me.

One day when he gave his usual answer, I begged, “Can I go, too?”

My dad laughed and said, “Don’t you know what the library is?”

“Sure, it’s the place where you check out books,” I replied, wondering why that was funny.

“No, it’s another name for the bathroom.”

I certainly did not want to accompany him there. Even if he did have a book in his hand.

The moral of the story is that words can have dual meaning, and as writers we have to be aware of not only their denotation but also the connotation. In addition, bear in mind cultural nuances, or our words may tell something we never intended.

That application of the “library tale” may not be what my inner child thought was going to come from this blog—I suspect her style is to only tell cute anecdotes and dabble in mischievous word plays to entertain the reader—but hey, I’m the writer and for once I’ve taken things where they need to go.

Oops, “need to go”. Okay, maybe she won after all.

4 comments:

Keith Fisher said...

Very funny. My inner child loves your inner child.
I was thinking about designing a house where you have to enter the powder room though a long halway with bookshelves on both sides. that way you could pick and choose what you wnat to read that day. and put it back when you are done. This would work however, in a the actual bathroom where you take a bath . . . I had a mission companion wh had what he called a Bathroom Book of Mormon. water spilles where evident from when he would read in the tub.
Maybe we should instigate having laminated pages on all books.

Keith Fisher said...

sorry that should say this wouldn't work however, in the room where you take a bath. (I need to learn to proofread before I post)

Keith Fisher said...

OK I give up! Please ignore my hurried attempt at writing sage wisdom. My fingers have proven just how unsage my mind really is

C. L. Beck said...

Keith,
Sometimes it takes me a bit to realize someone has commented.

I thought your wisdom was very sage ... or maybe rosemary. Possibly thyme.

At any rate, my inner child thanks your inner child!:-)