I think my website has been both a blessing and curse. All of my goblin stories tend to be rather intense and depressing, so it's nice to be able to write something funny and clever every week. It gives me a break from my ponderously solemn seriousness. Like a baby farting loudly at Mass. A good reminder that God has a sense of humor as well as a cross.
But it's also a curse at times, especially when I try to make my silly stories into serious and important things, which is really just a way of making myself into something serious and important. When that happens, I start to feel like I have to be clever all the time, instead of just being honest, and letting the truth do its thing.
Because it's a tiring thing, to be forever full of clever things to say. I'd much rather be full of cake. A rich, chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, the kind that's sort of fluffy and whipped and doesn't leave that weird film of sugar on the roof of your mouth. (How do they make that stuff? The world is full of marvels.)
But the truth is pretty light. It drifts through the air like a feather.
No, that's a bad simile. Actually, the truth is like a tiny speck of dirt floating in a glass of water. You know what I'm talking about. It's probably harmless, but you've got to fish it out anyway, just to be sure you're not swallowing a dead flea or a beetle leg or something. So you stick your finger in there to scoop it out, trying to pin it against the side of the glass maybe. But the water pushes it away before you can get it, and you end up chasing the little speck around and around, dirtying the water with your finger the whole time, until you finally snag and hold it up, dripping, and see that it's just a tiny black speck.
But really you don't know what the heck it is. That's truth.
You know my first blog was called "Whispers in the Earthquake." Not sure if you remember it. I only put a few things on there (mostly super-long essays about wizards) before grad school got in the way. But I really like the name.
I picked it because I had this overwhelming feeling that stepping into the Internet was like stepping into an earthquake, and my little blog was just one more whisper, ignored and unheard. I even wrote a little story about it - not a bad story, really, looking back. Though I was trying too hard to be clever with it.
So what's worth whispering in an earthquake? Good question. It's the question that I use to guide a lot of what I do. And really there are two different kinds of answers. One: You can whisper survival instructions: how to avoid falling glass, where the sturdiest desks are, where your hand is in the darkness. And then, once you're holding the other person safe in your arms, you can tell a few jokes, just to lighten the mood. 'Cause the power will probably be out for a while, and it's no good lighting candles in all that dust.
So I just whisper to the people nearest me, since they're the only ones who can hear. And maybe they'll pass it on down the line if they think it's particularly helpful safety advice. Or a particularly good joke. As long as I'm not too clever.
Hope the dog is doing well, and licking your hand on occasion.
With love always,
Your son Jordan
Jordan Jeffers writes letters to his mother on the Internet because stamps are a form of witchcraft. Feel free to give him electronic encouragement via the little Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Peace.