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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)

TITLE: Let Us Begin to Make A Difference
By Mary Frederick
01/18/06


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Let Us Begin to Make a Difference

The word start ignited a flurry of thought for within the word start, I can easily see the words star, tart and art. In a star, I see a sign of the existence of a higher power that I prefer to call God. I can also see the word tart, a word that means, sour or bitter and my memory allows me to recall the familiarity of these words in my life. I also see the word art, which conjures up other words like the beauty of a fall sunset captured on canvas, and famous paintings I have viewed in the past. I recall now my own unsuccessful attempts in grade school art class, which I dreaded. I used say, “The only thing I can draw is a crooked straight line.”

Everything I do involves the word start and sometimes I try to avoid thinking because I do not want to start some task that needs to be completed. The alarm rings in the morning; I quickly cover my head and turn my back to the world because I do not want to face the difficulty that accompanies swollen, stiff joints. The telephone rings; I look at the little screen to see who is calling as I start to pick up the receiver. I sit up as my bones resist the movements. I stand up and move toward the bathroom; a morning shower gives me a better start but it is cold in there, “later” I tell myself. I turn and walk to the kitchen hoping the coffee is ready; “it will give me a start,” I tell myself. I look out the window and discover snow on the ground, “Oh no now I have to scrape the windows; I hope my car will start,” I say to myself. People start to talk to themselves when they reach a certain age, you know! Finally, I start getting ready for morning Mass because I hate to be late.

Some things I just do not like to do some might call them tart. Those things that are tedious, things that are messy and things that always lead to other things to do I put off. I find myself wishing I had not neglected to start sooner because something I like to do must wait for another day. Some words are tart and can be bittersweet; they can be sour; so sour they cause an upset psyche. If only we would think before we start to speak, less people would be familiar with the bitter, sour, tart taste of unkind words. Some people frequently negative in speech and mannerisms cause me to think of the word tart since they often start and end conversations with bitter, sour words that are at times gut wrenching. These people can start and end a conversation people faster than lightening can shoot across the sky. One might get the impression that I do not like the word tart however; I really do enjoy a tart apple, a tart cherry or a tart piece of grape bubble gum.

I look forward to a star-studded sky and often compare stars to people. Some stars are far away difficult for the human eye to see just as some people, who seem to fade into the background in a crowded room. Some may call them wallflowers but I think they are lonely people, uncertain of their own value and worthiness. Would it not be wonderful if we could realize as that distant star that we are never alone? Sometimes loneliness is a reality when we are left alone in a crowded room yet we are not diminished we are only alone. We may not choose to be lonely in our aloneness but for some it is difficult to start a conversation in the midst of people with whom we may not feel comfortable.

At times like this, a piece of art on the wall can bring about a sense of peace, a quiet heart and the courage to ask a question that can lead to future friendships. Lost in a crowd is only temporary if we start a conversation with a simple question, but before we can ask a question of others we need to ask ourselves that question and the time to start is now. If we are alone that is reality but if we feel alone that is reason to start…


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Jan Ackerson 01/24/06
You are, like me, a person who likes to play with words! I think the paragraphs on the different words--tart, star, art--needed something more to tie them together. I enjoyed reading each one, though--perhaps each could be its own stand-alone devotional.
Phyllis Inniss 01/28/06
I like the way you got the different words from Start and used them in your article. It was quite an interesting read and different.