A Fiction Word

Last week my kindergarten daughter was working soooooo hard on something that we were nearly late for school.

And it wasn’t homework.

At least not assigned by her teacher.

It was something she really wanted to show her teacher, though.  I think she was hoping for a “wow” factor.  And because she’s six, it was very evident from start to finish that, at the very least, she was especially impressed with herself.

Fortunately, she has the kind of kindergarten teacher that I knew would not disappoint her.  (And 33 years later, my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Phelan, is not disappointing me, either!   But that’s another story.  For now, just know I got your note, Mrs. Phelan, and I was touched beyond words!  Thank you!)

But now, back to that self-imposed project of my daughter’s.

What was it, you ask?

It was a word.

A fiction word (as she called it) that means “when you feel something.”  By way of further explanation, she gave this example, “Like when you feel like you are wearing a necklace, but you don’t have one on.”

And the word she made up for that feeling?

librareiinstastane (pronounced lie-berry-en-sta-stain)

Of course, being the English major that I am, I enjoyed very much her making up a new word.  It cracked me up that despite the fact she actually spelled the first part of “librarian” correctly, she still pronounced it “li-berry.”

Still, fiction words are pretty cool.  I mean, she’s in good company after all.   Lewis Carroll immediately came to my mind and his nonsensical Jabberwocky poem, and, of course, the well-worn world of gaxes and sneetches, et al. created by the beloved Dr. Seuss.  So I beamed that she was fearless enough to just make up a word.

And a definition.

And show it off.

And for whatever reason, this word hung with me all week (while her dad was out of town).  Off and on I would find myself wondering What part of speech is it?  Adjective?  Verb?  How would you use it in a sentence?  (For some reason it never occurred to me to ask her to use it in a sentence).

Anyhoo, the week wore on and every time I would think of this word, I would smile.   I’d think about how she came home that afternoon with a  note from her wonderful, compassionate, amazing teacher that said proudly:  “This is an enormous fiction word!”  followed by a big smiley face.

Because it was.

And I’m sure it made her smile.

Simple as that.

But still, something about it lingered with me.  I’m really not sure what or why.  Just thoughts of that word drifting in and out of my consciousness throughout the week.

Then, on the weekend, when her dad returned from his trip, I told him the story and showed him the word.  Without missing a beat, he walked into the living room where she was sitting and started a casual conversation with her by saying, “You know what, Bean? (That’s her nickname.  We don’t fancy naming our kids after vegetables, just so you know. )  Sometimes I librareiinstastane my Blackberry.”  And he said it without even looking at her.

She glowered at him. (Because she almost always does. *sigh*  We have no idea why.)

And he replied innocently, “What?   I do.”  And he turned and left the room.

And I’m sure he does.

And now I knew how to use it in a sentence.

And the whole point of my writing about it is this:  I don’t have a word for how I’ve been feeling, or why I haven’t been writing, or just where I am in my faith journey right now.

That’s why I haven’t written.

Not because I don’t want to.  Or because I’m done with this whole blog thing.

Not at all.

In fact, I librareiinstastane words for my blog.

I really do.

But just like the definition says:  I feel them, but they’re not really there.

Hopefully, maybe even sometime soon, I will un-librareiinstastane those words.

But for now?

For now, there are no words to form sentences that outline or connect the thoughts along my journey.  Only some random thoughts that I’ve been repeating to myself often, which I’ll share with you now:

“All is well, and all is well, and all will be well…” ~Julian of Norwich

“God does not love us because we are good.  God loves us because GOD is good.”  ~Richard Rohr

And then there is this story shared in Ronald Rolheiser’s book Our One Great Act of Fidelity, from a lecture he’d heard given by James Mackey  about a man on a hunting expedition in Africa who bagged two wild turkeys and headed back to his camp (that story I paraphrase here, but the point of which has been bouncing around in my head for weeks):

At one point upon his return to camp he realized that he was being followed by a naked, starving, adolescent boy.  Seeing this, the man unbuckled his belt, let the turkeys fall to the ground and gestured to the boy to come take the birds.  The boy ran up to the birds, but refused to pick them up.  He was, seemingly, still asking for something else.   Finally, as a last ditch effort for the boy to show what else he needed, he backed off from the birds several meters and stood with his arms and hands outstretched…”waiting, waiting until the man came and placed the birds in his hands.  He had, despite hunger, fear, and intense need, refused to take the birds.  He waited until they were given to him…”

And on that final thought, that’s perhaps why I’ve librareiinstastaned the words for this blog.

I refuse to take what I’m experiencing and share with you, until the words for it have been given to me.

In the meantime, just know I don’t mind this lack of words.

My twisted, jumbled wordless journey suits me just fine.  (It’s not real helpful to the blog, though, so that’s why I thought I’d check in).

But for now, know this:  that when the words are finally given to me?

Well… I’ll be  certain to write a big smiley face next to them.


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