Got a Word for an Addict?

March 29, 2010

March 28, 2010

Hi. My name is Jenny and I’m an addict: I’m addicted to words. I like to play with them. You’d never have guessed… I just spend the bulk of every day at my computer composing, changing, editing, deleting and writing more.

What really defines me as a diagnosable linguaholic is my newest fettish. A kind but clueless friend showed me a new FREE app for my cell phone:  Scrabble! The game allows one to play with as many other unsuspecting victims as will sign on. I can have a dozen games going at once (which is why I haven’t given this link to others. I do still have SOME control over my substance). Now even in my spare time I’m playing with words. I’m glad shuffling them doesn’t start fires.

My favorite word is “Metamorphosis.” Being a poet and a great fan of colorful, dancing butterflies, the word for their transformation fascinates me.  The word’s etymology includes meta, meaning “form” and morph, meaning “change.”  To change form.

I’ve been reconsidering this word ever since church this morning. I was in a class studying “The Truth Project” when someone mentioned my favorite word (see www.thetruthproject.org for more info). I didn’t realize until then that it’s in the New Testament! Romans 12:2 says “let God morph you into a new person.” Okay, I paraphrased. But it’s right there in the Greek: μεταμορφοΰσθε: “be ye transformed” (no, I don’t speak Greek; I can just use reference books :)). It’s a command to let something happen, not an order to change ourselves.

Someone mentioned this morning that God allows struggle in our lives for a similar purpose to that of the cocoon around a chrysalis. I’d heard that before, but I’d never considered the fact that part of “letting God transform” us includes the cocoon-building. The metamorphosis can’t happen if I’m fighting while God builds the hard part around me. I have to trust His process.

Here’s a poem about my favorite word. I hope it means as much to you as it has to me.

 

Beauty: the result of struggle

Tiny face pressed against glass
Eyes wide with watching
As if an instant could miss it…
A chrysalis, balanced on a bare branch,
Focus of five year-old fascination.

 A worm lives in there, Mommy?
Why? Who wrapped it up? Will it die in there?
Let’s let it out, Mommy!
How can it breathe? What does it eat?
Motionless mummy in miniature,
You have an advocate!

 Cloistered in a woven tomb where
Metamorphosis means bursting bands
That bound a worm
and wearing wings;
Pressing walls apart with them,
Drawing strength from struggle,
Shattering  your shelter and
Spreading yourself into the open sky…

 A tear smears the window as she weeps.
Her heart hurts, and mine, for her confusion.
That worm is working hard, I whisper, close to her cheek.
The tender, tilted face begs a question.
If we help, he will stay a crawling thing.
Eyes wide find mine…
Just give him time, for he is making wings.

Jennifer Evans
Feb. 4, 2002
(Inspired by a sermon by Rev. Dan Brenton)

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One Response to “Got a Word for an Addict?”

  1. Johanna Fenton Says:

    Jenny, my secret is that I am *terrible* at Scrabble and word games in general. I run for the hills whenever anyone wants to play one, especially if they know my occupation (formerly linguist, now copyeditor and writer).


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