December 24, 2012

How In One Day Angels Surrounded Me

On December 20, 2012, redOrbit’s news site posted the Word of the Day as angelophany, which means the visible manifestation of an angel or angels. As I was perusing the site to see what had been posted or if there were any discoveries or studies I wanted to blog about, this Word of the Day took me by surprise. It was not because I was offended or anything like that; rather, in my intersession class we read and discussed a story by Gabriel García Márquez called “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children” on December 20, 2012—yep, the same day. Weird, right?

Now, this short story is about a man with wings who many believe is an angel. I do not want to give too much away because it is really great and you should read it, but the story provides substantial evidence that the old man is an angel. I thought that it was too bizarre a coincidence for us to have read and discussed this story on the very day that redOrbit posted angelophany as its Word of the Day.

The coincidence in story and word do not seem like some sign to me. No, I’m not superstitious like that. But the mere fact of their coincidence is interesting. It is not so much that I believe in the manifestation of angels that prompted this blog. Frankly, I do not know whether angels exist or not, let alone whether they can manifest on earth in some way. But I do think that when life throws me a happenstance like this, I should probably write about it.

I suspect that redOrbit posted the word angelophany in reference to the holiday season where people decorate with angels and whatnot. Nevertheless, I love the redOrbit Word of the Day. I do wish that we could have access to previous words of the day, but that is because I love words, and I think it is so interesting the words that redOrbit regularly posts. I have had several experiences where redOrbit posted a particularly Word of the Day and somehow that word related to my experiences on that very same day. Angelophany is a direct example of that.

Sometimes we often forget how important it is to continue building our vocabulary. Clearly, redOrbit has not. Each day I check out the Word of the Day, I find myself either impressed by the word choice, learning a new word, or connecting to the word. I love that. I love the way it feels to really learn a word, commit it to heart, and begin to use it in ways that are appropriate but also fun. I only wish that I had checked the site out before my class discussion because I totally could have used angelophany during our discussion.

Oh well. Maybe next time. Until then, though, I will definitely check out the redOrbit Word of the Day more regularly. Who knows what I’ll learn, right?

And should you be interested, here is a link to an online version of Márquez’s story although there is nothing like reading the story in a real book. Hope you enjoy it.

Image Credit: Hudyma Natallia / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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