Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flavoured Expressions/MANN

My daughter-in-law recently gave me a plate of gluten-free cookies. What I expected and what my taste buds proclaimed were totally different. What had made the difference? “Real vanilla!” she said. How could one small change in a recipe give such a different flavour to what I had been accustomed?
Anyone who adds a little of Mrs Dash or Sea Salt to their stew and soup could answer that question.
I’m beginning to think that life without change can be very boring. At my age, I’m well into my perseverance years, (Psalm 90:10) and enjoying life, immensely. I’ve met many people with different religious points of view – varied theological perspectives and a variety of faith positions—some for which I’m sure they’d die. In these golden years, I admit to enjoying testing, trying and opening what was once for me, unyielding.
Change even in one’s faith gives a little colour and texture to the predictable. Our will, intellect and emotions (soul) gets a little jump-start, awakens our spirit, and prompts our relationship with God and others, to initiate transformation. Old relationships that had fallen away take new meaning and a willingness to invest in people and life itself give new purpose. Certainly modifying one’s eating habits and lifestyle redefines the term care for self. And the scales confirm that the body appreciates this change.
Over the past several years, I’ve made a deliberate attempt to pay attention to language and phrases that I and others use to describe an experience or relationship. At any point, I’m still a developing wordsmith, but the enjoyment of working with words takes me to different levels of understanding. Around that same time, I realized that draft-readers and editors consistently challenged me to use a variety of words, to gain a fresh meaning of plot and scene, conflict and resolution.
This worked well in the lives of my characters and I began to question why people constantly like to stick to the tried and true phrases used for so many years to define faith, especially when we serve a creating God, constantly making all things new. Certainly faith experiments are not meant to be stagnant. So I’ve begun to experiment and ask myself and others to ‘unpack’ particular words or well-worn statements. Conversations that follow are sweet, and we didn’t even add sugar.
This exercise opens up fresh new meanings. It’s a little like using real vanilla in a potentially dry cookie – it gives life and faith expressions a new taste initiating a new hunger and desire to be nourished.

Donna Mann

AGGIE’S VOICE to be launched early fall, 2013: the third and final book of the Agnes Macphail trilogy (Brucedale Press).


Peter Black said...

Always reaching, stretching, engaging -- and growing! That's you Donna!
Thank you for sharing this engaging piece to help us all grow in faith and grace on life's journey. :)

Carolyn Wilker said...

Make a list of those old phrases perhaps, with the newer expression beside it. Perfect for a writer. In fact I may ask my writing students to do the same.

Donna Mann said...

Thanks for your comments. It's a little bit like meeting someone at the post office and they ask, "How are you?" and walk on. I want to call them back and say, "Do you have an hour?" :) I believe this is similar to our faith language. You can tell I'm having some fun with this.

Popular Posts