The Important Thing

The Important Thing October 17, 2018

After The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown

The important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true.

They’re fun to read, and sometimes they’re called fiction and sometimes they’re called nonfiction. Sometimes they’re called sermons and sometimes they’re called lyrical creative flash poetry. You may read them, or hear them through the keyhole, or know them in the depths of your heart from the time you’re born.

But the important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true.

The important thing about church is that we are there together.

Mrs. Willoughby goes for Jesus and Mr. O’Rourke goes to have a quiet place to contemplate revenge uninterrupted and Junior Lempshire goes for the donuts after, with the extra-dark apple juice that he spills on his good shoes every week that makes him smell vaguely pickled. There is an organ that sounds dusty and a baritone that sounds sublime. The ratio of sinners to saints is 78:1. The 1 is someone no one suspects.

But the important thing about church is that we are there together.

 

The important thing about champagne is that the bubbles tickle your nose.

You can drink it to toast the New Year or to celebrate a birthday or promotion or wedding or the successful completion of a nefarious contract. It comes in a variety of colors that all taste like sweet sharp air. It can be poisoned. It’s easy to drink too much because it always tastes like it’s running away from you and you need to catch up.

But the important thing about champagne is that the bubbles tickle your nose.

 

The important thing about a graveyard is that you will pass through the gate an odd number of times.

People huddle in small flocks and talk in hushed tones so deaf ears don’t hear. There are granite urns to hold silk flowers as relentlessly cheerful and out of season as the smiles on morticians’ mouths. The wind drifts through, more relevant than the eulogy. There is a stone wall to climb over, which may be a loophole.

But the important thing about a graveyard is that you will pass through the gate an odd number of times.

 

The important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true.

They can be told to instill fear or just to amuse. There are red herrings. Figuring out which part might save your life. Children tell them and get them wrong.

But the important thing about stories is that they’re always partly true.

*

Marybeth Bishop lives in Annapolis with her husband and kids and dogs and plants. She thinks creepy thoughts year-round, but tries hard to remember that most other people don’t want to hear them until October. She writes at madeforordinarytime.wordpress.com/ (formerly cronecafe.wordpress.com/) and whenever possible at Sick Pilgrim and Convivium Journal.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment