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It seems everyone I know is playing the board game Scrabble this winter.

My Grandmother and her sister Esther would play every time they visited, which wasn’t often as Aunt Esther lived across the border in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their conversations ranged from world politics to Canadian VS American policies to recipes and the swapping of dress patterns.

I was passing them on the way to Grandma’s bottomless cookie jar when a combination of words got my attention. I cried “Stop, I need a pencil and paper”, then “Please Grandma could you say that again?”

Although forty years have passed I still remember that phrase and still have that scrap of paper somewhere too. In recent years I have read it in other contexts in no less than three different books.

That phrase started me on a life long journey to collecting bits and pieces of language.

“What was it?” I can hear you ask.

“The blanket condemnation of humanity”.

I never knew what the content of the conversation was. I cared only to resume my journey to that bottomless cookie jar.

Lion's Head photographer: Christopher Wallis

This picture was taken north of Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula. The quote is:

“When through Creation’s vast expanse the last dread thunders roll,

Untune the concord of the spheres, and shake the rising soul.”

I have always been a bit haphazard in recording authorship but with today’s technology it was only a click away. It was penned by Miss Elizabeth Carter. 1717-1806

This is one of my word paintings which show another direction I have taken language to use in my work.

About geri binks


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