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Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Miracles in 26 letters

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)

A while back I read an interview in The Metro with the author Ian Rankin. Replying to a question about devising new storylines he said: I find it miraculous there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and anyone can sit down and write a sentence that's never been written before.

And it's true! Unless all I write are re-hashes of well-used sentences I am creating something new, something as yet uncreated, with each sentence I write. I am creating a mini-miracle, in fact! Even if the sentence is short or fairly ordinary, not filled with grand concepts or eloquent words, or stretching into multiple clauses and sub-clauses. And all this in a language with only 26 letters, none of which have an accent or a cedilla, to bump up the number of available letters!

There is for me a sense of awe and wonder in Rankin's words. They fill me with wonder at the simplicity and the marvellousness of what I do, what I can do, each time I sit down to write. Wonder at the privilege and the miracle of creation open to me and to all who write, hidden in that most ordinary, everyday activity - writing a sentence, composed of 26 or fewer letters.

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