When my older kids were younger, my parents babysat for them one night. Unbeknown to me and Dave, my parents were planning to get new carpeting installed in the playroom in the coming days. While we were out, they gave the kids all the markers they could find and told them to draw on the carpet. They did -- wildly, huge ten-foot-long people with hats and boots.
When we get home, the kids are asleep. We ask how things went. "Good," my parents said. "Well, you know, the kids got a little messy. There was this one thing..."
And they lead us into the playroom.
Dave and I gasp. We're stunned.
My parents love this part of the story -- our horror at the carpets our kids have destroyed. They let us suffer a while then tell us that the carpet guy was scheduled already.
A few days ago, my parents tell the story, but this time they tell us about the carpet guy.
He walks in and he stands there, awed. "Everyone should do this. No one's ever done it before. But everyone should."
My parents love the story because they knew they saw the beauty of it in its earliest inception -- ah, the joy of the harmless messing with others!
I love the story because it's making something from nothing.
I love something from nothing.
Writing is always the act of something from nothing.