the Word became flesh

Confession: I own too many books. Not just a few too many, or some too many. A lot too many.

Someone keeps saying it’s a problem.

I keep not listening.

So when I got an email today from one of my literature students with “book tree” in the subject line, I was intrigued. I thought it might be some kind of narrative thematic diagram resembling a family tree, which would be pretty cool.

But it wasn’t.

It was an idea. For a book tree. (Go figure.) Made out of books. To look like a tree. You know, for Christmas and all.

Which was so much cooler than cool I can’t even put it into words.

This email, and the resulting fervor it whipped up in my soul, is precisely why I don’t Pin. I would forfeit my life to this and that and such-and-such and so-and-so and ladeedahdeedoo and pretty soon I would be a crazy person who only converses with glue sticks and rotary cutters.


Proof positive is that I spent several hours tonight constructing this:

Photo: CKirgiss
“The Word became flesh.”

It was a lot more work than I expected. The light schematic is pathetic. In a few places, I had to jerryrig shims of folded paper to keep things level. I didn’t know how to finish it off. I made a mess of my bookshelves.

But oh my, I am delighted. Beyond words. Because not only do I love my books (too much, says someone) but I love the season that my new book tree celebrates. The incarnation. The Birth of Christ. The eucatastrophe of mankind’s history (for all you Tolkien fans).

Breathtaking indeed. Beyond words.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The Original “Pin It”

I’m not on Pinterest, mostly because I don’t have a reliable sense of moderation.

I love beautiful things, quirky things, creative things, fun things, DIY things, innovative things, retro things, thrifty things, unexpected things, thoughtful things, crafty things, contemplative things, bookish things, encouraging things, all kinds of things.

Love-of-many-things + inherent-lack-of-moderation = Self-Imposed Pinterest Prohibition.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t pin. I’m not legalistic that way. In fact, I’ve been pinning (actually) long before Pinning (virtually) came into vogue –  with actual, not virtual pins. The wooden kind. For clothes. Maybe you’ve heard of them.

They’re perfect for pinning that tiny homemade Guatemalan doll onto the kitchen curtains.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning a cardinal’s feather onto the edge of a robin’s nest that graces an end table with its presence.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning a quirky ornament onto the quirky tree branch in the quirky pot in the corner of the living room.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning old family photos to the clothesline (used for Christmas stockings during the holiday season) strung across the mantle.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning stamps and receipts and notes and other important things to the front of bookshelves.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning a lovely, wondrous, magical dedication page (torn long ago from an unknown book and saved in a drawer because, well, it’s so lovely, wondrous, and magical) onto a tree branch in the backyard where perhaps the wildlife will appreciate it.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning necklaces onto a flimsy, useless-for-towels towel rack.

Photo: CKirgiss

Or for pinning the recently opened bag of cinnamon-and-sugar pita chips (which is rarely done because, let’s be real, these chips tend to be consumed in a single sitting even though, if one serving equals one sitting, the bag should last eight times longer).

Photo: CKirgiss

(And yes, that is a box of Red River hot cereal lurking in the background.)

Clothespin pinning may not be as fancy or flashy or fast as the other kind of Pinning, but it has a charm all its own, for this kind of pinning extends beyond what one pins to how and where one pins. In that sense, the possibilities are endless. The pins, however, are not, and that’s good news for a person who lacks her own moderation.