With Protection

This is the initial entry for the new 2wenty-thr3 feature of my blog, in which I choose, using the number 23 as my sole selection criterion, two words from a text, and then use that pair in a blog post. Today’s source text is inspired by an upcoming holiday in my home country; counting 23 words from the top and 23 from the bottom (signatures don’t count!), I have a title. Now for the hard part.

“I’m not sending you out there alone.” The captain waved his arm in the direction of the company, the nearly dozen men and women huddled around the trash can fire. “Need to keep Kelsey here, have her work on the radio. Simonson, he’d be OK, or Crawford . . . I could send you with Tad — ”

“How about sending me with protection this time?” Lieutenant Michaelson pointed to the hulking figure of Geoff, standing by himself in the shadows around the fire’s perimeter.



The final Blogging 101 task is to create a recurring feature on my blog. Inspiration arrived before I had finished reading the assignment, and my only regret is that it hadn’t come a few days earlier.

I’m calling my feature 2wenty-thr3, and it will appear on my blog the twenty-third day of each month. The primary inspiration is an apocryphal (OK, it’s false) legend regarding William Shakespeare and the King James Bible. The legend was inspired by the observation that in translation’s version of Psalms 46, the forty-sixth word from the top is shake, and the forty-sixth from the bottom is speare. (Oh go ahead — you know I’m right, but you just have to see for yourself, don’t you? Start counting!) For the record, Shakespeare was employed by the court at the time, there is no authoritative list of translators, the edition was finished around Shakespeare’s 46th birthday . . . and though spoil-sport scholars have pretty much busted this myth, the coincidence is too serendipitous to not be inspiring.

To celebrate the spirit of this legend, for 2wenty-thr3 I will select a text (guided by whatever random motivation strikes me), and use the number 23 in some fashion to choose two words. I could go top-down and bottom-up, as in the legend; maybe I’ll use the first word in a novel’s 23rd chapter, or the last word in a poem’s 23rd line; perhaps I’ll think of some other way to incorporate the number into the selection process. The result will always be two words, and I’ll use both (perhaps combined into a new word — oh the neoligistic possibilities are endless!) in a short, self-contained post on my blog.

My plan is for 2wenty-thr3 to be a celebration of life’s random orderliness, about discovering patterns that lead to inspiration. And while I’m three days too late for this month’s entry, I’ll still make my initial contribution for this new feature tomorrow.

UPDATE: Little too eager to hit the Publish button. I’m using 23 instead of 46 as the “magic number” because it leads to a convenient schedule for the feature, and acknowledges that the inspirational legend is half-true, at best. Besides, 23’s a cool number, and also happens to be the day Shakespeare was most likely born in April 1564.