Monday, September 17, 2012

Who Is a Wordsmith?

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

Wordsmith gives me visions of a man with large muscles wielding a hammer over a smoky furnace and maybe it’s not a bad connection. A wordsmith is a craftsman who uses words to shape and build an idea like the black smith shapes iron.

The builder of ideas chooses words for their feel and texture. The writer of political speeches is careful in the choice of words to make the speaker one of the common people. He must not seem arrogant or use words that set him apart from the common people but neither should he be common or coarse.

The preacher as a wordsmith draws his listener to see his own sins and submit them to the cleansing of the Savior’s bloody stain. The journalist is a wordsmith who seeks to transport his reader by the power of his words to a scene of national importance. It may be an election, a war, or surrender, but his words are the only entry. The wordsmith is charged with making it real to the reader.

At some time we are all called on to be wordsmiths. We relate the sorrow of a funeral, the celebration of the winning goal, the solemn joy of the wedding vows, and we hope the listener can experience the same emotion we feel. It’s not an easy job, but learning to share your experiences with others through your words is a challenge and blessing. Enjoy it!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Remembering Ima Jean

Ima Jean was one of the best friends I ever had. We were teenagers together, and we went to church together, and we endured camp together, and suddenly she is gone. I haven't seen her much in the last 40 or 50 years, but when you have a good foundation, the friendship is stable even after all that time.

I knew she had cancer, but she detailed the course of treatment, and I thought she would be here for a while. I know the devastation cancer causes to body cells and systems, so I shouldn't be surprised that it was quick.It was widespread in her body. She didn't belabor the fact when she wrote about it; she even minimized it. She was concerned about the doctor's distress in delivering the news to her. Her days were filled with family and friends and love. Her last days were mostly pain free, and she celebrated her birthday just before the end. As things go, she didn't do badly.

I've been focused on memories for a while now, and remembering Ima Jean is one memory I cherish. She was beautiful and joyous and precious. She learned of the beauty of loving God before I did, and she taught me to enter that sphere of understanding when we were still school girls.  I will always be indebted to her for ushering me into that special place with my Savior.

Ima Jean is in the middle and she still looks just like she did when we were 18.
It's funny that memory can make friendship so special and current even though we haven't seen each other for so long. Oh, Ima Jean, I'm gonna miss you, but I'm so glad I knew you when we were just starting out. You made me better for the rest of the journey.