I am not a believer in the supernatural. I am not a believer in very much at all. I do believe, passionately, that the whole world, every man woman and child in it, every soldier, every teacher, everyone, all of us would be safer, more secure, and less dangerous, if every single one of us could come down a decibel or two, a notch or two, (howsoever we measure our scale of believing) and try to believe whatever we may sincerely believe – just a tiny bit less. In my play Candlesticks – not that people are supposed to take sides, but I can because I wrote it – I am in the end on the side of the character who asserts this very notion, at the end of the play. Believing too deeply in too many things can be dangerous!
And I certainly do not believe that through games of scrabble, messages can be passed, to remind, encourage, or warn us of whatever we may need to be warned about.
A few weeks ago I was feeling really unwell. Post-covid something, or my immune system fighting a new virus. Or just a few off days. (At our age we all have off days.) Here is what I put on facebook. “I haven`t been feeling too good today. So Jeff kindly offered to play scrabble. The game came to a stand-still. On a blocked board, neither of us could do much. So we agreed amicably – let`s both resign! Then we viewed each other`s remaining letters – and found ourselves much amused.” Next to this piece, a photo of our two sets of letters, side by side. One set said AILING with one other letter, and the other CARING …
This morning I woke at five am to find that Peter Gimpel publisher had forwarded me the proofs of Tell It Not, my soon to be published short story collection. But I wanted to go back to sleep. So I picked up my ipad and proceeded to start a game of scrabble – me versus the ipad, my perfect sleeping pill. But to my surprise, my second set of letters were: P R O O F S (and a v) So I got the message, got up, and began to work.