Monday, March 2, 2009


I use a website called Random Word Generator to get the Word of the Day, the jumping off place for my writing exercises. The Welcome page on that site has a scattered mosaic-like picture with the caption “Using randomness to create order.” Does this not sound like the perfect place for me? I just never quite get from the “random” spot to the place of “order”. The website offers a word at the click of a button. The page with the word on it says something like; “This site generates a random common noun”, which is exactly what we are looking for in this particular exercise. So today the word was “Push”. Where is the noun-ness in that?
Anyway…here goes:
The sign says PUSH, but the handle says ignore the sign and PULL. Thick tempered glass with a pull handle on it, and behind the handle is a red rectangular message saying PUSH. I suppose for a door to fill the measure of its creation it would need to be either pushed or pulled; though I suppose it could also slide to the side. But it needs to be openable. Otherwise, why be a door? I wonder to myself, why would they put a pull handle where a push plate would suffice? It contradicts itself. But it happens all the time. Check it out next time you go shopping. I suppose they might put a pull handle there in case there is a robbery and they need to let the negotiating cop in really quickly and then close the door from the outside. The handle is there so they can pull it shut faster than the hinges want to allow. I’m not sure. I think it makes for confusion in a world already excessively confused. Like those IN and OUT doors between the kitchen and the dining room in a convention center. Or like the page in the middle of my favorite Dr Seuss book, Go Dog Go…”One big dog going IN…Three little dogs going OUT.” I wrote a little poem when I was 15 about In and Out. It was published in the New Era magazine, but I don’t recall it at this moment. I know it ended with the words “I realized I had been going IN the OUT.” It was some sort of social commentary; a typical poem of a 1970’s teenager. Was I a typical 1970’s teenager?
Maybe retail establishments put PUSH on those PULL doors so rebellious adolescents will find their way in to spend their parents’ money.
I'm imagining a pioneer handcart with the word PULL painted on the handle in the front, and a big red PUSH painted on the back board. Some things just don't need instruction always being yelled from them. But to take it to a worse scenario, how irritating would it be if you were all day straining your back behind a handcart, pushing it through the sandy desert as you stared at a mislabeled sign that said PULL?

I’m also thinking about that picture from Sunday School; that one where Jesus is standing at the side of an arched wooden door, his beard all trim and tidy and his robes all pure and clean. He leans his head in toward the door and has his hand in a fisted position, like he’s knocking. When you look closely you notice that the door has no doorknob. No PUSH sign either. It is intended to mean he will not force his way into your space, you have to open it for him if you want him to come in. That painting simply would not work if there were a message painted on the door…PUSH.


  1. That's my problem.... I've been waiting for the door to be pushed open and gushes of blessings to just flow on in.....dadgum me!

    I will repent and try harder to open the door from the inside.

  2. Cori would mind sending me a link to the Random Word of the Day that you use. I couldn't really find one that fit. I am enjoying your musings. I teach little writing classes and I try to get my students to write stream of conscious every day. I think this would be a good starting point.

    Thanks, Charmaine Anderson