“You take sugar? I told you ! I don’t want a coffee!” This quote came from the Wallander series. Episode 3. Called “The Brother.”
“A” large dictionary is taking up a third of my desk, this morning. It was my dad’s dictionary. It’s The Random House Dictionary of the English Language. It’s a tomb. I noticed there aren’t any page numbers. On the title page I found a secret message…dated : 7-31-01. Short and sweet. “To my dearest daughter! ” with my dad’s signature. A message I didn’t even know existed till today.
My daughter and I had found the dictionary in his condo library, At that very moment I vowed I would bring it home. My mom also had the same sized tomb in the house my family grew up in. When we were kids we would always ask my mom …Mom, how do you spell aardvark, for example? A strange word always circled in red by your English teachers…After awhile she got both tired and smart about our continuous spelling questions…We started to hear the words ….”Look it up in the dictionary !” It sat on its own stand in my living room and there we would stand leafing through numerous pages trying to find the correct spelling for an animal that doesn’t live in Minnesota but does exist in Africa.
Before we left Naples he must have written his message to me. When I started writing he had been ill for a couple of years. In June, I stopped writing in my blog because it just seemed like all the important people in my life had died. I was trying to heal my own body as I grieved for others. I found it very hard to do.
Originally, I started my blog because of my dad. He always wanted to write a book…so my blog was my connection to him. I think it was what some people call a spiritual connection in that he was already living in the world of dementia…I don’t think he had the capacity to read it. I just “felt” the connection. My dad loved words as I did. He didn’t even question my furtive actions of quietly packing up his dictionary and bringing it home to Minnesota.
I decided to utilize his dictionary in my quest to learn new words. The first word it seems in every language is always an “a” . A dog…a cat….a baby…a house. “A cup of coffee…please! ” Even in my Chinese dictionary it exists. It’s just said differently. In my Dad’s dictionary its stated as the first letter in the alphabet, a vowel. As I scan down the page I notice there’s two columns of “a” definitions… I am only on the first word…first page and I am already becoming overwhelmed. An inking idea is starting to ruminate in my addled brain…Can I somehow still tie this in with coffee? Another love of mine? What about poetry? Politics? Art? Movies? Printmaking? Only time will tell …