My Grandpa...many years ago

It’s funny the things that stick with you.

My paternal Grandfather had a penchant for creating his own pithy sayings and, as is the case with this post’s subject line, the occasional new word.

As a child, my brother and I used to sit at Grandpa’s knee and listen to him croon a little ditty about whales making love on their knees. The lyrics were a product of his imagination. Grandpa’s singing voice wasn’t the greatest but the sheer humor in that song sent all his grandchildren into fits of giggles each and every time.

“Any color’s all right as long as it’s red.”– To this day, I can’t wear that color without his statement running through my head.

“A martini in each hand!” — Well, okay, that one may not be original but it does present a nice visual.

Grandpa lived to be 91 — spunky, funny, and creative to the end. It’s a testament to the strength of his originality that his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren still have vivid memories 25 years later.  Grandpa’s words live on though his family. He made his mark on the world.

He passed his creativity to my father. In Dad it manifested as a remarkable talent for intricately detailed woodworking. Dad passed it to my brother who has mad skills in graphic design. My mother quilts.

I think it’s fair to say I come by my creativity honestly.

My Grandfather has been gone from this Earth for many years now. The passing of time means days and weeks can go by without thinking of him, or of any of my other relatives who’ve gone before me. So I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been thinking of him lately, but I have an inkling of an idea…

Grandpa was creative. He had imagination. He had a talent for taking the mundane and turning it on its ear. These days, I’m doing my best to emulate that through my writing.

I write because that’s who I am. I write because the act of writing is nourishment for my soul. Grandpa’s funny song and intriguing sayings were part of who he was.

Bottling up creativity is like putting soda in the freezer, then forgetting it’s there. You remember a few hours later and end up faced with the mess caused by the explosion. Joy!

However, if I pull that soda out of the freezer in time, the explosion is averted. The stress and irritation tied to the clean up is eliminated. I believe Grandpa relieved his tension by being entertaining.

When I write, my angst disappears. My joy is magnified. I can almost see my thoughts float through the air onto the screen, clearing out the clutter in my creative center. It’s rather like that scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where Dumbledore takes his wand, places it at his temple, and pulls out a wisp of memory. Writing is my wand. Ideas are the memory.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t care if the words I pen live on in someone’s memory. I think each of us wants to make a mark on this world and I’m no exception. That’s a valid goal, but I think it’s more important to define a vision of oneself as a writer. To root that vision in the world. To take what excites me and share it through my writing. I’m working on developing that vision. When I get there, I’ll share.

Grandpa never did tell any of us what “transmugliforcandanbumshamity” meant. I think he enjoyed letting people attach their own definition to the word.

As for me, I think it means “be creative”.


4 thoughts on “Transmugliforcandanbumshamity

  1. Thanks for this one… Grandpa Clark was a true original. I still vividly recall him peeling away from the curb, going 0 to 60 in nothing flat, only to have to slam on the brakes because we lived three houses from the stop sign! Loved (and love) that man!


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