Left but vapor, will-the-wisp in air.
Tatterdemalion remnants; transparent, ethereal, hardly there.
Gath’ring in what’s left, a soul misplaced;
A scrap, a shred, a cast-off trace.
So light, insubstantial, in hands cupped safe.
Away from harm in Savior’s grace.
So gentle must the gather be; Crush not to dust, the fragments frail.
Careful. Find each tiny piece. Overlook but one and fail.
Nurture spark in tinder bed, fuel for growth now being fed.
Gently blow, give life by breath. Fan the flame that counters death.
Place back within the hollow shell. Seam the tear. Mend it well.
Massage full well ’till felt to beat. Restored now soul and heart complete.
My heart may not remain broken with God’s healing touch.
It’s worth mentioning that until I looked it up, my only definition of Tatterdemalion was the one I picked up from novelist Terry Brooks’ fantasy novel, “A Knight of the Word.”
“She turned and found herself staring right at the tatterdemalion. She had seen only a handful in her life, and then just for a few seconds each time, but she knew this one for what it was right away. It stood less than a dozen yards away, slight and ephemeral in the pale autumn light. Diaphanous clothing and silky hair trailed from its body and limbs in wispy strands, as if on the verge of being carried off by the wind. The tatterdemalion’s features were childlike and haunted. This one was a girl. Her eyes were depthless in dark-ringed sockets and her rosebud mouth pinched against her sunken face. Her skin was the color and texture of parchment. She might have been a runaway who had not eaten in days and was still terrified of what she had left behind. She had that look. But tatterdemalions were nothing of the sort. They weren’t really children at all, let alone runaways. They weren’t even human.”
“She moved to within six feet of Nest. Nest hadn’t seen her do that, preoccupied with her thoughts of Ross. The tatterdemalion was close enough that Nest could see the shadowy things that moved inside her semi-transparent form like scraps of stray paper stirred by the wind. Pick had told her that tatterdemalions were made up mostly of dead children’s memories and dreams, and that they were born fully grown and did not age afterward but lived only a short time. All of them took on the aspects of the children who had formed them, becoming something of the children themselves while never achieving real substance. Magic shaped and bound them for the time they existed, and when the magic could no longer hold them together, the children’s memories and dreams simply scattered into the wind and the tatterdemalion was gone.”
1. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.
2. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated.
Origin: 1600-10; first written tatter-de-mallian and rhymed with Italian; see tatter1 ; -de-mallian
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.
Word Origin & History
“ragged child, person dressed in old clothes,” 1608, probably from tatter, with fantastic second element, but perhaps also suggested by Tartar, with a contemporary sense of “vagabond, gypsy.”
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Friday, July 1, 2011 at 5:38am