Pondering and Praying

Springboks, South Africa / Photograph by Morkel Erasmus / via National Geographic's Photo of the Day (February 4, 2012)

After posting my analogy between thesis statements and DNA, I received a comment from Julie, my mentor at work, and she said, ” Seriously, I have no idea how you come up with these awesome analogies, but they really are awesome.”

For the most part, all I can say is that I think about my subject matter. I think about writing everyday. That’s Monday to Sunday plus yesterday and today. Tomorrow, I don’t know yet since I’m not a fortune teller. I think about it everywhere, and you’ll be surprised that some of my ideas actually come to me when I’m sitting on the toilet. I try to steal moments from my busy life as a supervisor just to sit still, think, and ponder on words, writing, and the human condition. Sometimes, it’s in a van while commuting to or from the office, on a road somewhere, or while ordering at a fast food. That’s how I arrive at some of the things that I get to share in this blog.

Sometimes, I plan what to think about, but more often, I think of things that bug, annoy, or enrage me. How can I explain the intensive use of reflexive pronouns to students that have English as their second or third language? Why can’t people write using the right words? Why does that person’s writing always contain words with negative connotation? Is he just oblivious, or is he really that big of an ass? Usually, they’re all academic like the post about organization and transitions. On several occasions, I write about words that really make me happy like my post about those song lyrics a few days ago. It all boils down to what makes my heart beat loudly. I’d prefer the good, but really, the bad ones make my heart beat a war song.

More importantly, I take my writing and thinking seriously that when I pray, I ask God to answer some grammatical or writing questions for me. I know that it’s odd to do, but it actually works! While it’s not like a voice from a burning bush or a bolt of energy etching writing lessons on stone tablets, I arrive at my ideas through silent meditation. Most Catholics are ridiculed for praying the same formulaic prayers, but we are also taught to pray to God in a personal way; while totally weird, this is my way of creating a connection to Him. Some people will say that it’s only me, and God doesn’t have anything to do with it, but I’d rather believe in my God, the God that spoke to create light and made word into flesh. He’s much cooler like that!

I don’t mean to be preachy or anything; all I intend to do is to write an explanation for a friend and share it to the world, so I hope that through this — and yes, I realize that I will be switching to the second person point of view — you will find inspiration or strategy within this post, too.

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