Hey, I was THINKING to myself the other day about something, I can’t remember what anymore, when it occurred to me that “THINKING TO MYSELF” is a weird thing to say, or even to THINK, because how else can one THINK?

I tried to THINK of the last time I THOUGHT WITH MY WIFE, and that’s never happened. I’ve been in a lot of committee meetings over the years and don’t recall a single instance when we THOUGHT TOGETHER! 

Maybe there have been a few times when Ginger, our cat and I have THOUGHT TOGETHER, but he’s not at all inclined to talk, at least not with me, so I really can’t be sure of that. 

Now that I THINK about it, there’s another weird thing people say – “I’M THINKING OUT LOUD.” No you’re not! You’re TALKING OUT LOUD. I don’t know about you, but when I’m talking my mind is also THINKING! THINKING is just not the same THING as talking.

Hey, did you ever notice that THINK and THING have the first four letters in common? The only difference between them is a K (as in King Cake) and a G (as in Ginger).

Well … maybe I’m OVER-THINKING all these THINGS. I THINK I’ll go have a piece of King Cake with Ginger and lighten up.

Ship Ahead!

I searched the rolling seas from horizon to horizon from the crow’s nest as menacing waves pounded our sailing ship, sending sheets of spray over the deck. A rope around my waist tied me in the wooden barrel thirty feet above. Suddenly a three-masted pirate frigate appeared in my spyglass. A gust of cold wind shoved me from behind and the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention. I yelled down to my captain, “Ship ahead!” and pointed east. Then the bell rang and library period was over. I’d gotten lost in a book in third grade, again. Reluctantly I returned to the world of A.E. Phillips Laboratory School, in Ruston, Louisiana.

Those early reading experiences were magic for sure. From third grade on, given a quiet place and a good book, I left everything — friends, school, cares, even gravity behind. Now in my 60s I can still suspend disbelief pretty well, but gravity keeps a firm grip.

How can stories transport us to other places and times?

How can words make us feel lonely, excited, crazy or peaceful?

Is it the writer or the reader who makes the magic?

When the bell rang, I looked at the front pages of the sailing adventure book and discovered that the author had died years before. The thought popped into my head – to live forever is easy, just write stories.

Do you remember the first time you got lost in a story? Or the last time?

Happy travels!