Happy March Fourth! Don’t forget to observe my self-declared holiday: National Celebrate the Sentence Day. March Fourth is a sentence, and if you think about its homonym, March forth, it is the only date of the year which works as a sentence outside the numeral structure. Okay, just go with me on this and stop your quibbling.
In Los Angeles, thousands of runners literally are marching forth for the LA Marathon, THE most appropriate day of the year for such valiance. All the rest of us, all around the world, from dawn to dark, are crafting sentences for every conceivable reason: to declare love or war, to buy pomegranates, to negotiate a lease, to call a loved one out to see the hawks in the palm tree, to complain that our feet hurt, to comfort a baby, to support our candidates, to ask for a kiss, to give thanks for a kiss, to mourn the dead.
I celebrate the powerful reassurance of one complete thought put into words. I celebrate the miraculous structure of human language: the stolid march of subject-verb, subject-verb; the riffs and infinite improvisations of sensual adjectives, sonatas of adverbs, the bringing-together of conjunctions, and the spritely prepositions, pointing every which way. I am grateful for how the sentence orders my life experience – a structure that makes it possible for you to read this, wherever you are, and understand a little of what I have to say. I’m grateful for the architecture, varied and elaborate, that helps me capture my experience and visit the life houses of other writers.
I’m thankful for the workhorse sentence; I’m awed by how my human language has given me more joy and gotten me into more mischief than anything else about me. It’s good to be alive on this March Fourth, the day which is a sentence, and to have the words at hand to reflect on being human. I celebrate the boundless majesty and possibility of the sentence. Here’s hoping we use our words, our sentences, to protect the earth and find a route to peace.
The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago