Mark 1: 21-28 – The 4th Sunday after Epiphany – for January 29, 2012
“They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, ‘What is this…’” (Mark 1:27)
I entered the post office. Waiting in line, I grasped a shopping bag holding twenty-one copies of my book, A Companion for the Journey. Identical in size, weight and packaging, they were ready to mail.
For practical and humble reasons, I planned to send them to clergy friends. Companion is my book and I’m proud of the accomplishment.
Practically speaking, I’d like to sell enough to cover printing costs. With books heavy in hand, I also think ministers are a good audience to generate word-of-mouth. Buzz. You know: they’ll tell other clergy pals to spring for a copy; they’ll tell a layperson or ten that Companion (by that swell fellow Larry) is worth a read. However, I’ll readily admit self-published also means selfishly-published. It’s not only about selling enough to keep a bottom line in black ink. Please read it and like it (as we declare in the gospel according to Facebook). Ah, ego.
Now, about humble as my other reason . . .
“Sir, can I help you?”
Oops! It’s my turn at the post office window. I stepped forward, hoisted the bag of nouns and verbs onto the counter space papered with official USPS notes to customers. I stacked the ready-to-mail packages of vanity in front of the clerk.
“Same size, same weight,” I said. Since I’d used my handy-dandy Martha Stewart kitchen scale at home, I added, “They’re each about seven point seven ounces.” Didn’t I sound like an expert? (Or a babbling fool?)
“You’re right,” she replied after weighing a book. The clerk consulted a list taped to the counter and then gazed at me. “Are they all domestic?”
I paused. I didn’t hear domestic. Instead, had she wondered if they were . . . domesticated? Maybe it’s because I’m anxious about sending books to friends. Maybe it’s because my mind continuously plays weird word games. Regardless, I asked, “What do you mean by domes–” Continue reading →