I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


"My parents, and librarians along the way, taught me about the space between words; about the margins, where so many juicy moments of life and spirit and friendship could be found. In a library, you can find small miracles and truth, and you might find something that will make you laugh so hard that you will get shushed, in the friendliest way." --Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

I often try to convey a simple truth to my soon-to-be 18 year-old niece about the concept of margin. By allowing margin, you make time to enjoy life. Leave early for an appointment, anticipating traffic and other problems, and if all goes well, you can use the extra time to get to know somebody you wouldn't have had the chance to talk to otherwise or to read a chapter in a book you haven't had time to read or to examine a painting you might have otherwise ignored.

But margin is deeper than that. Pick up several books that are close to you and flip through them. Assuming you didn't grab a picture book, nearly every page you glanced at was full of words. But I would bet that at least one of the books was more aesthetically pleasing. And I would bet even more that the reason your eyes were drawn to that particular book was because of its margins. The words had room to breathe. If you are the type of person who underlines passage and/or writes notes in the margins, you were already dreaming about touching your pen to the pages.

Give me a good book with nice margins all the way around the pages and a G2 pen and I'm set for an hour of bliss. I'll laugh, maybe cry, think, fret, dream, get angry, and hopefully relate--all while I'm jotting notes in the margins and underlining passages that hit home. On my best days, I'll go back and read those passages again before I close the book. On my worst days, I'll still be glad I partook.

Margin is an invitation to express ourselves. Margin excites and inspires and gives hope. Margin expects to be filled with words or tears or finger prints or wonder. So, be on the lookout for margins. Create them if you have to. And when you see one, never let it go to waste.


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