My work with words is anchored in a belief that an essential charity pervades a marred creation capable of lighting some small path of grace across the page. The world is beautiful and broken, and both need telling as we search for a wholeness in this life. There is a Hebrew phrase for what I’m describing: tikkun olam, which means to repair or fix the world — a call to humanity to collaborate with God in setting things right. Tikkun olam sums up the trajectory of the writer of faith’s vocation.
A wise and wonderful editor of mine once told me that she believes there are two types of children's book writers: those who study children and those who are children inside. I knew immediately which group I belong in! It just feels very natural for me to write for children. And I feel very fortunate: children are the best audience in the world. They will go with you anywhere, much further than adults. It is an honor and a privilege to write for children, and also, of course, a great responsibility.
Her note was written on an old index page of a ledger and she too adhered a bird sticker to the faded surface. She ripped the page right out of the book; I loved the spontaneous, rustic aesthetic. The postcard did in fact bear her greeting from four years ago as well as a dignified black cat on the glossy cover along with French writing — she went to Paris, too. Belated, yet thoughtful. I don’t know many people who’d realize they’d forgotten to send a postcard four years ago, then actually send it upon the moment of realization. My friends are a rare, whimsical, priceless bunch.
The mountain doesn’t look like the mountain when you’re on it. Often enough, it doesn’t look like much at all. Like standing only a few inches away from one of Georges Seurat’s pieces, all I see are points of color. It’s just dots, at least that’s true to some degree. Yet I’d venture a guess that Seurat was not primarily or initially moved by a vision of tiny marks on a canvas but that he took up the brush and diligently, meticulously made those millions of tiny marks because he was moved by a vision of sand and water or skin and eyes.
Toward the end of the movie, I wanted justice. This evil man who was bent on punishing poor, fatherless children must be punished. He deserved the fate that I was sure the movie maker’s had in store for him.