I’ve been clinging to words recently.
I think it’s the change in the seasons. Like all good and right-thinking Minnesotans, I have come to accept the seasons, have come to terms with the ones that want to kill me. Sure, summer’s nice. But like a pretty woman of dubious intent mixing you just one more drink, you find yourself waking in the weak, diffused light of fall, your pockets empty.
What just happened? Where’s my wallet?
One never gets quite enough.
And the worst thing about this particular summer’s hangover has been the unseasonable warm-ness of its fall. Go then! You said we were breaking up and here it is, November! Go and take your warmth with you!
And so I cling to what I know, even as that knowledge, too, changes.
I find myself clinging to words.
Take the word “traverse” for instance. I’ve traversed plenty, believe me. When was the last time you traversed? Have you traversed lately? Didn’t I run into your mom in town once, traversing? No, no, I’m pretty sure that was her.
How about “plight”? Been in a plight lately? Me, I’ve been in several pickles and a scrape, but even I, having brought up the subject, must admit that I’ve not suffered, lately, what I would describe as a “plight”.
Nor, now that I think of it, have I suffered from much malaise, although it certainly appears that I may have a touch of it.
Words go away.
But other words bloat, swelling with the fat heads who insist on overusing them.
The word “miracle”, for instance. Hey. I’m all for a good miracle. But arriving on time for something is not “a miracle”. There was no intervention, no help from the other side in finally getting you to arrive on time. Nor was your arrival “awesome”. I’ve said it before; and will no doubt, until someone stops me, say it again, but imagining that one can feel open-mouthed awe and wonder at, say, punctuality, makes me sad.
We are all responsible, though, are we not, for our own happiness?
And so it is with pink-cheeked pleasure that I report that I was forced, ladies and gentlemen, to look up a word the other day.
I say that, of course, knowing that I sound like a self-satisfied twit, but generally speaking I have a pretty good grasp of the English language, especially as it is goodly spoken in these United States, and so when I come upon a word I’ve seen before but cannot understand through context alone, I look it up.
Well how’s that for a kick in the drawers?
Antediluvian: of or belonging to the period before the Flood.
Angels sang, clouds parted, and a dove bearing an olive branch flew head first into the windows outside of my cubicle on the 48th floor.
No, it was not “awesome”.
But it was enough.
Princesses of the New Age
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