Small picture. Big frame.

There’s something about gathering around a short text. I do my best thinking, even my best writing, in book margins.  Small picture, big frame.  My ideal page has wide margins on all sides for comments, though with footnotes so the writer or the editor(s) can get into the act, too.

I love gathering around a text.  I’ve loved it at college seminars, at church, at school, in book groups, at meals, with Victoria mornings before we go. The text as a table with room around it for many chairs.

I love I’ve spent the day assessing my students’ comments there on the Gettysburg Address.  It made me comment more.  I find good texts — poems, portions of Scripture, portions of novels, portions of anything — inexhaustible.  I organize my thoughts around them.  I’ll walk weeks without a light with them.  I’ll live a hard day deep down around a Bible verse or a snatch of poetry, a table set before me where mine enemy can pull up a chair, too, while laying down his arms.

I’ve always wanted others to see what I see in a text.  And I want to see what they see, too.


  1. Peter–
    I’m not even close to having caught up with my blog readings, but I just wanted to stop by briefly and say a huge Happy Holidays to you, fellow teacher! I got off school only this afternoon at 4pm and am still in denial about the impending relaxation ;) I don’t often know quite what to do with spare time, but I do promise to lavish in every single moment of it. Late night poetry writing and blog reading til my eyes blur is definitely high up on the ‘to do’ list ;) At any rate, have a terrific break with your family :) – Lisa

  2. I know; spare time is a major reorientation. I spent only ten minutes on schoolwork today. I’ve read a lot — parts of three books — baked, worked on three tech projects, and even worked on household stuff. I’ve stayed up way too late both tonight and last night going from book to web site to iPhone . . . spent a delicious two hours writing this morning — first time that long since August . . . thanks for stopping by, Lisa, and have a wonderful Christmas!

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