Headwaters Wordsmithing

Writing for the actor, singer, and reader.

Birthed in the Northwoods of Wisconsin,  Headwaters Wordsmithing creates screenplays, lyrics, and books with an emphasis on faith in God...and a minor emphasis on coffee.  Make yourself at home.

Doin' The Math

Waking up on the sofa, I find that the dawn didn't wait for me.  The sky's already blushing pink and glowing gold, a veritable symphony of colors and light.  I try to move which creates my own symphony.  My joints and sundry body parts make music that wouldn't qualify as easy listening.  A few of the notes, I'm sure, would be deemed socially inappropriate in public meetings and restaurants.  And possibly even crack houses.

Another night on the sofa trying to breathe.  I fight my way out of the five pillows that prop up my Leaning Tower of Wheeza and stumble to the Reading Room.


Ever since I awoke to cognizance, I've been thinking about zeroes.

Zeroes.  The ninja of integers.  Unseen yet mighty.  The numerical version of garlic in a sauce.

You see, I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock.  Our kids grew up with Schoolhouse Rock.  We still have all the VHSs.  And one of my favorites was "My Hero, Zero".


I redirect my staggering to the kitchen where I concoct the Elixir of Knowledge.  That accomplished I lean into a banking right turn that builds up enough speed to cover the five foot distance to the dining room table in non-record time.

Zero.  We all want zeroes.  I mean, really, I've said it.  You've probably said it.  We look at our paychecks and say "wish it had more zeroes".

And I've always kinda looked at zeroes that way.  The more, the merrier.  The more, the better.

But my second pull of the Elixir evokes a thought that brings my hero down to something even less than mortal.  Less than normal.


A zero is...nothing.  It would seem to be something, the way it fills in the columns, easily pushing the decimal point far away, like a sumo wrestler working an abacus.  Flick.  Zip.

But the zeroes are nothing.  It's the other numbers that are something.  All the zeroes in the world defer to the littlest of numbers.  $0.01 beats $000,000,000.00.

A deep pull of the Elixir brings up a disturbing question.  How much of my life have I've spent chasing zeroes? Accumulating zeroes?  Accumulating nothing.

Hmm.  A cup of cold water would be a nothing.  A zero.  But He said do it in His name and it's a reward.  It becomes...something.  It has worth.

Maybe that's the way to having something.  Maybe it's not trying to get as many zeroes as I can.  Maybe it's doing that little dinky thing He's telling me to do.  Some little insignificant thing.

And He says He'll add the zeroes to it.

But I need to do that little "1".  Or "2".  Or "5".  Whatever it is He wants me to do.  And He'll add the zeroes.  5 loaves.  2 fish.  He added the zeroes and a multitude was feed.


Another pull and the Elixir of Knowledge gently smacks me a V-8 head thump.  I guess that's where I screw up.  I get so hung up on how impressive the zeroes look - how important they make me look - when they are really...nothing.

Just wood, hay, and stubble, if even that.  Stuff with no substance.  Stuff you can make disappear with a matchstick.

I guess today I'll look for those "penny things" He wants me to do. Those little things,  The simple opportunities He brings my way. Like a penny on the sidewalk.

Investing in a penny-cup of cool water maybe.  What ever He wants me to do.  Where ever He wants me to invest it.   And the really cool part about this?...

I'll let Him add the zeroes.

All content copyrighted by Dennis R. Doud. Website designed by Isaac Doud.