Posts Tagged With: words

Finding Words Everywhere

Being a fan of words I look for and read them everywhere. I think it all started ages ago while reading the backs of cereal boxes. Now I read everything: signs, plaques, memorials, directions, chalkboards, menus, whiteboards, magnets, carvings, raised metal, blocks, imprints, impressions, sidewalk chalk, train graffiti, book spines, air fresheners, notices, refrigerators, headlines. Even the occasional book.

Words hang out everywhere and in some surprising places. Some even smell good.

Here’s a few words I’ve run into lately:

The good and the bad.

The good and the bad.

“There are places I remember all my life, Though some have changed, Some forever, not for better, Some have gone and some remain.” ~ From the Beatles”In My Life.” 

 

Such a tiny word...

Such a tiny word…

“Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” ~Khalil Gibran

Life began here.

Life began here.

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” ~Bill Mollison

 

Don't ask me to choose just one kind.

Don’t ask me to choose just one kind.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ~ David Mamet

 

A concrete idea.

A concrete idea.

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” ~ Michelangelo

 

I believe I can fly, somedays.

Wings, roots, reasons.

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” ~ Dalai Lama 

 

Such a big word.

Such a big word.

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

~*~~*~~*~

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Categories: Communication, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Naked Crayons and Other Sunny Things

By Simsala111 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

By Simsala111 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]

Spending time lately with my favorite three-year old I picked up on some of her personalized words and phrases. She’s smart! And I’m not just biased.

Here’s proof.

I mean look at this first word. She says:

Hanitizer” instead of hand sanitizer 

That makes perfect sense and in fact ought to replace the two-word equivalent, don’t you agree?

She hasn’t quite mastered the art of “f” and “v” so she uses an “s” instead.  So, when she asks:

“Please can I have some Sruit Snacks?”

I try to remember to add an “f” or a “v” in place of an “s.” And, voila’ I know she really wants Fruit Snacks.

I think, again, she’s stumbled on something brilliant, since those little bite-sized pieces of candy-like substance have about as much to do with fruit as her version of the word does.

One of her favorite pastimes is watching videos or:

Mooies” also known as movies.

At my house she gets away with watching more than she does at her own house. I’m thinking of hiding “Aladdin” and “Bug’s Life” because I can’t seem to get them out of my head.

By Glamhag (Glass slippers) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

By Glamhag (Glass slippers) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

Oddly, she refuses to watch “Cinderella” or as she calls it:

“Cindergrilla.”

Sounds like a Planet of the Apes version of the glass slipper story, doesn’t it? It once served as her Mom’s favorite movie as a kid and led to the naming of a semi-adopted cat named “Suffer” (another appropriate word-twist.) Someday I’ll convince her to watch it.

When she colors with crayons she prefers the newer ones that haven’t had the paper wrappers ripped off of them. When I recently handed her an orange crayon without the paper around it she laughed and then she said:

You want this book!

You want this book!

“It’s a Naked Crayon!”

Then I laughed, too. Her Mom said she probably got the term from a book they’d read from the library called, “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Oliver Jeffers.

You’d like the book, too, even if you don’t hang out with three-year olds. Drop in to the library and look at it sometime, or buy a copy for your own favorite three-year old. And then next time you pick up a naked crayon, you’ll get to laugh as well.

What a great sense of humor this particular three-year old possesses. I’ve learned to see things with a twist when get to I spend time with her. When she thinks something’s hilarious she even says so:

“Haha, that’s sunny!”

Then I remember to replace the “s” with an “f” and I know she’s found something funny!

Funny and sunny definitely seem related. The more sun I include in my days, the funner my life feels. Likewise, the more fun I remember to schedule in, the sunnier my days.

See, isn’t she brilliant? I sure think so.

Naked Crayons!!!

Naked Crayons!!!

Categories: Family, Humor, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Symbols and Cymbals and Cymbalta

I apologize for the weird title of this post.

Sort of.

The Red Wheelbarrow

The Red Wheelbarrow (Photo credit: Abbeh)

I got thinking today about how everything, and I do mean nearly EVERY THING is symbolic for me. I blame it on High School English classes. “But, what does it meannnnnn,” they were always asking about every piece of literature we read. It couldn’t just be about the white chicken and red wheel barrow and the rain, it had to mean something significant. It couldn’t just be that the writer was lazy and didn’t want to bother with capitalization, even how every word appeared somehow had to “meannnnnnn” something.

It wasn’t until later, after learning the barest minimum about Freud, that I understood how important his statement really was:

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

Everything doesn’t have to be a symbol for something else.

But try to convince my once young and formerly pliable mind of that now.

No, my life seems to work just like an English class. Not only in what I read, but all the stuff I surround my life with. The things on the wall, the colors I choose for a pillow, even the seemingly random soda bottle on the mantle all has meaning for me. And not just the “Oh, great-aunt Matilda gave that to me” kind of meaning. I’m talking symbolism.

sym·bol·ism

noun
the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character.
Imagine a life literallly, not just figuratively, filled with symbols and symbolism. That’s tricky, I know, but stay with me.

Now, if you were listening to this post you might actually hear the word symbol and think this word: cymbal. These are not the same. Obviously to me, now, they aren’t. I can take the context of a word, it’s surroundings and topic and make sense of the difference between symbol and cymbal.

But as a kid there were so many words that sounded almost the same or exactly the same that some of the things I thought were lyrics to songs made no sense whatsoever.

photo-18 copy 28

Holidays are particularly heavy with symbolic meanings as well as confusing sounding words.

For example, as a kid I often sang this Christmas tune: “Up on the housetop reindeer pause, out jumps good old Santa Clause…” But what I heard was more like this: “Ug, on the how stop, rain dear paws, out jumps good, O Santa Claws.”

When you’re four or five years old and that’s what you think you’re hearing Christmas becomes a confusing mess.

Or there’s this familiar first verse of Jingle Bells.

“Dash he threw the snow, on a one ore soaping slay, ore the fields we go, laughing all the way.” What the heck is a soaping slay?

How does that make any sense to anyone? But a little kid, with very little contextual understanding, words are so wierd!! But I didn’t even know enough to ask what it all meant. I figured, maybe, that it wasn’t supposed to make sense. I mean, the whole red suited guy squishing down a chimney seemed pretty nonsensical.

But I digress.

I was talking about symbols and cymbals.

Couldn’t cymbals be symbolic? Sure they could. But could cymbal playing really be cymbalic playing? I don’t know probably not.

The point is I was pushed quite naturally by such nonsense in the direction of figuring out words, and meanings in, under, around and beyond words.

Old House

Old House (Photo credit: WaywardShinobi)

Words drip with meaning. Words bend under the weight of history, like an old house with a wing added in one decade and a room tacked on in another, and then another room or two, here and there over the years, and finally a garage cobbled together a little bit after that. Add in all that attic space and crawl space. Until what you have is this word with hundreds and hundreds of years of meaning in every pore of its few letters.

So much so, that when I hear an advertisement for some drug called Cymbalta my brain pictures a percussion player with flat brass discs waiting for the director to signal for the crashing loud bash of metal on metal.

Cymbals, Chinese New Year in front of House of...

Cymbals, Chinese New Year in front of House of Hong, International District, Seattle, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that makes no sense for an antidepressant, except in a mean-spirited I’m gonna shove you outta your bed of depression by sheer loudness kind of way.

I’ve tried a few antidepressants in my day, so don’t go thinking I’m being insensitive here. I wish one of the meds I tried over the years had that effect on me. “Alright, already, Ma, I’m awake, I’m up, I’m good to go! Stop with the Cymbalta playing!”

So then I think symbolism and I worry about what’s realllllllly in that medication, what does it meannnnnnn? And I feel a little nervous.

Words very seldom serve as just words.

And that’s scary.

“You say tomato, I say tom-AH-to.”

You know Amelia Bedelia? Yeah. Her. That book.

That one children’s book says so much better anything I’ve just spent nearly seven hundred words trying to explain. And it has pictures. Funny pictures.

Sigh.

“What does it all meannnnnnn?”

Maybe I just need some medication or an orchestra concert or a sign.

Or sleep.

Categories: Books, Humor, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“How Big Is Your Brave?”

Did you hear what I said?

More importantly, did you hear what I meant?

Watch and listen to this and then we’ll talk:

You know how you can never think of a clever thing to say when you really need it? It’s like the next morning midway between breakfast and lunch when you think of the perfect comeback.

Too late.

And then there’s the text, email, instant message, private message or phone message you put out there that gets NO response whatsoever. What does that mean? Did it go through? Did you say something wrong? Are they avoiding you? It’s like the written equivalent of “do I have something green and gross in my teeth?” but much much worse.

I know, I know, the logical thing to think falls in the category of they’re busy, gone, their device isn’t working, or they missed seeing it among the three thousand others they received yesterday.

But still, I worry and wonder. Okay, fine, I obsess a little, too.

Or you post some witty or smart remark on Facebook and then read it a while later. You wonder who hacked your account and wrote such an abominable sentence that doesn’t even come close to what you meant to say.

Crash!

Laptop Keyboard

Return. Oops! (Photo credit: nist6ss)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve, fortunately, read what I just typed, BEFORE I pressed the return button. Snarky, mean, thoughtless, manipulative, stupid, airheaded, too much information, ridiculous. Whatever. Dodged that one!

But, I’ve also pressed return without really paying attention and then shortly after wanted to crawl under a rock and ban myself from all forms of social media forever.

Sometimes just a regular conversation can leave me wondering what in the scrap-heap went wrong. I thought the conversation was about abc and the person I’ve chatted with  thought we were talking about xyz. Totally different wavelengths. Complete and utter misunderstanding. My brain throws its hands into the air and walks away disgusted with my lack of socializing skills.

Then there’s this other aspect of it all.

Pendulum

Pendulum (Photo credit: MrPlow5)

My communication pendulum swings rather wide. I fluctuate between two extremes.

I’m sometimes fairly quiet, uncertain about talking and keep to myself. Almost like a hermit, I mumble things under my breath, but rarely share out loud. I think way too much and have incredible inner conversations. Talking with others? Not so much.

Or the pendulum swings and I’m a little too talkative. I find myself answering a simple, basic question with Way Too Much Information. Those WTMI’s give me more anxiety than four teenagers combined ever did. (No, that’s not true, nothing could top that.) But anxiety levels rocket to stupid heights because of my over sharing, and again, I want to crawl under a rock and disappear for a month or three.

grizzly bear mind meld with boy

Grizzly bear mind meld with boy (Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

Why weren’t we made with, I don’t know, brain to brain communication? Spock’s mind meld technique could come in handy more often than you’d think. I really need a verbal delete button. More than a shoulder angel or a shoulder devil, I need a shoulder editor.

“Hey, Kami, don’t say that. ”  Or better yet, “Shh… Just keep quiet for a minute. Listen…listen…wait… okay, now you can talk, but don’t empty your entire thought process here.”

Maybe that’s more like a quarterback coach with a headset on running the game mouth to helmet.  Fine, then, that’s what I need.

Or do I just need to stay BRAVE and say what I think and what I mean as best I can and roll with it.

Gaaaaaa!!!!!!!! Whole wars are fought over words that are misunderstood, misinterpreted, misused, missing or mistakes. No pressure!!!!

Do you sense the pendulum swinging here? It’s swinging so wide it may crash through a wall this time.

Why such angst? This is silly! These brave souls in this music video that accompanies these wonderful lyrics make me feel braver, make me smile, make me think I can just say what I think and the worlds walls won’t come crashing down around me.

It’s possible to just be there, move with the music, throw myself into living with abandon and silliness and guts and let things happen. It’s more likely that JOY will happen if I’m dancing. It’s more likely that JOY will happen if I’m at least TRYING to let my voice be heard.

Sure I’m gonna trip over myself. Probably way more than I think I will. (I already do, actually.) But maybe, just maybe I’ll make someone smile as I dance my words across the page or across the room. Maybe because I say what I think, I dance to the music that I’m hearing, someone else will get on their brave and dance with their words, too. It could happen.

Being brave with my words.

It’s surely worth the risk.

At least, I hope so.

I think I’ve found my new personal anthem.

_________________________

“Brave”

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

*****

The title of today’s post is thanks to Sara Berreilles. You can also thank my young with-it daughter. When she heard what I was thinking about writing for today’s post she aimed me Sara’s direction.

Categories: People, Relationships, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

I Vote for the Grawlix

I’m convinced that the only reason children are given middle names is so that parents have a way of letting the child know when they are really, really, really in trouble. Who hasn’t overheard some dialog like the following:

“JJ, we keep out hands to ourselves now, don’t we.”

“Jimmy, don’t touch that.”

“Jimmy B…Are you listening to me?”

“James, I said don’t touch that, get over here now. Don’t you run away!”

“James Henry Beelzebub! You are in BIG trouble now!”

Did you notice the escalation? From everyday to formal, from easygoing to insistent?

I made the error of not giving three of my children a middle name. That middle name would have come in handy, on many an occasion. Instead, I had to employ some serious creativity to get my point across. Or make up a middle name so they’d know they were in trouble.

Some kids have more than one middle name. Does that give the parents more emphasis? Or does it give the child more chances before things ramp up to utter chaos? Just curious.

If a parent often or always used all three or more names to address their child, then that middle name wouldn’t hold any more power than a single name. The rare frequency of use is what imbues that middle name with meaning and emphasis.

In the same way, swear words lose their punch, power, meaning and impact when used too often.

Like the tale of the boy who cried wolf, swearing, if it becomes common or too frequent, or out of context, loses its efficacy.

“Oh, that’s just the way he is. He doesn’t mean anything by it,” is something often said about those who swear without thought. The only meaning conveyed is anger or thoughtlessness or lack of vocabulary.

Swear

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While living in another state, we used a fantastic mechanic friend who worked on cars from his home garage. We got to know his family, his kids, his wife. Nice people. Surprisingly, he swore like a sailor, meaning, nearly every third word was a vulgarity. The first few times I spent any time around him I thought he was in a bad mood. Turned out that was just how he talked, happy, sad, angry, indifferent. That’s how he was raised. The swear words served as fillers for him, like most people use the words “uh”or “hmm” or “like” or “y’know.” It wasn’t easy to tune out or filter the sense from what he said. It was distracting and often uncomfortable. Surprisingly, he was the most tender-hearted, kind, generous person I’d met in ages. His words didn’t match who he was. Consequently, many people kept themselves from getting to know him, the real man behind the angry sounding words. What a loss.

 “Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.” – Sonia Choquette.

I admit I’m kind of a word snob. I select words with probably too much care and precision. I get told I use “big words” too much. I blame that on all the reading I’ve done over a lifetime. There are so many words to use in every possible situation! And I keep learning new ones!

photo-14There are some words that aren’t even swear words that make me cringe; misspelled words, grammar errors, typos. That’s just me being silly and picky. A word that means something else other than what the speaker thinks what it means can make me wince. A swear word when nearly any other word would be adequate just feels lazy and pointless. Certain swear words are like a punch in the gut, a word out-of-place in a sentence, meaningless, almost silly.

Here’s a brief example of the many word choices out there that could replace just the word vulgarity: rudeness, tastelessness, uncouthness, offensiveness, crude, impropriety, indecency, cuss, execration, expletive, profanity, obscenity, cuss word, four-letter word, rude word, dirty word, vulgarism, sacrilege, curse, oath, and lets not forget ^*$#(@&**!!

That’s twenty-one word choices! Why would a person, particularly a writer, always use the same three or four words when there are twenty-one or more options? It doesn’t take a boatload of effort to look up words in a thesaurus or dictionary anymore.

Don’t get me wrong here.

I’m no purist. My mouth surely has needed a soap washing on many an occasion. Just ask MSH or my kids. When I get really, really angry half my brain cells shut down and what I say comes across as all but meaningless. I’m not proud of it. I am after all a wordsmith. I have the skills to get my ideas across without the &*#$*%#$ thrown in as empty fillers.

That’s a grawlix.

That string of punctuation marks that signify cussing is called a grawlix, by the way.

I like that. You’re free to fill in the blanks or let it slide. I picture Yosemite Sam grumbling under his breath as “that durn rabbit” gets away again. I get his anger without taking a hit to my gut and my sensibilities.

As for bleeping out cuss words, I’m not much of a fan of that. There isn’t much left to the imagination when lip-reading is obvious. And blanking out the middle letters of expletives doesn’t lessen the angry meaningless of the word.

English: A black ink splatter with slightly bl...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess I just wish we all tried a little harder to say what we really meant. Swear words just feel like so much anger spewed on the page, like ink splatted out of a quill pen. What a mess where there’s so much potential. I’d like to think we’re all better writers and better communicators.

I know, it’s supposedly cool and sophisticated to freely pepper our sentences with those words we wouldn’t normally use in front of our grandmother, our minister, a potential employer or small children. Why is it we don’t say them in such company, I wonder.

Does that say something about our sense of propriety? Does it say something about us? Does it say anything?

Do our word choices say anything at all?

Categories: Communication, Humor, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Than Words

Hey! It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m having a hard time coming up with a gratituesday. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got blessing out the wazoo. Narrowing down the gratitude to one thing befuddles me today.

Here’s some words I’ve encountered lately that have taken on added meaning. Most of them capture  my current state of mind. The words themselves seem ordinary, but the heft and weight behind the words carries me through.

Here’s one my of favorite happy words. I’ve been lucky in this area. Three brothers who’ve gone through some rough times and have emerged like rock stars!  Parents who’ve persevered and continued to love. A husband, children, grands. It’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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I’ve seen recent examples of this word in my siblings, my dad, my mom, my children.

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This word captures how I feel when I’m around my family, or friends. Or when I’m writing. Lack of a weight to carry or illumination, either definition of Light fits my mood.

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The meat of the thing, the center, the prime motivator, the engine, the strength, where love symbolically lives.

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Got plenty of these in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. I’m especially thankful for the three sweet “littles” in my life. Got a brand new one I get to hold in just a few hours.

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I have three of these. Each one as different as possible from the other. And yet, we find common ground in so many places. They’ve been a source of strength to me. They’ve been an example of selflessness and service over a long stretch. They keep the boat they’re on moving through whatever weather the seas and wind blow their way.

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I think this word says enough all by itself.

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What it’s all about, right? Got a ton of it in my life. Probably more than my fair share. Hoping I’m giving it as well as I’m getting it.

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More the center of things than the heart, the word mother encapsulates all that is good and beautiful and healthy in my life. I owe her everything. I’m grateful that she’s okay and getting better every day.

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Yeah, I know I started with this word. Everything would seem kind of pointless without this. So I’m extra grateful today for this one.

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And here’s someone else’s words to summarize today’s gratitude.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”—   Melody Beattie

Feasting today on a full plate and a cup overflowing!

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Needing the Power of Words

It’s Gratituesday! Today I am thankful for the power of words. That may sound silly until you think about words in varying contexts.

Prayer

(Photo credit: mojoey)

For instance, the power of words spoken in a prayer. I’m not thinking about rote prayers, repeated utterances we make with little thought. The words I’m thinking about pour out of a place deeper than a person’s mouth. Words birthed in loss and heartache and heaviness. Words searching for a foothold. Words struggling for sense in a senseless situation. Those words carry power and heft and potential healing.

Sometimes the mere act of placing words into the heavens is all it takes to see things clearer, to feel enabled to keep going forward. Sometimes a need requires action words added to the spoken ones. Sometimes answers arrive in unexpected packages. Sometimes answers seem elusive. But the power of the words remains unchanged.

what are word for?

what are word for? (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

Power rides on the words we speak or withhold. Expressions of love carry a potent, almost magical strength that binds and seals. Failure to let words work such charms can leave a vast emptiness that a lifetime may never fill.

Words accompanied by music make up life’s most power-filled elixirs. Nothing else prompts action, conveys emotion, shares thoughts as well as music with words. Better than a prescription, well-chosen words combined with a perfect tune can make a gray day brighten.  Carefully placed words in a melody that touches the heartstrings can open doors long shut with hinges rusted over.

I haven’t even touched on the incomparable time-traveling properties of words, or the artistic nuances available in poetry and prose. And laughter? What elicits a laugh easier than a few just-so words? Words offer condolence. Words may lift an aching heart. Words connect, intertwine, link and hold fast.

Such powers that words possess will lift and heal and hold me today. And everyday.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Words Find Us

Been doing a brief bit of traveling this past week. So naturally my camera snapped some moments. Or at least it tried to.

Photos don’t grab the nuance in the breeze as you eat on a balcony with Pike’s Peak behind you. Photos can’t record the pride a parent feels. Photos miss the exchange of love and light in a look between two people.

Strangely, the word photos I took seemed to speak volumes about all the good stuff going on.

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Categories: Love, The World, Wondering | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Few Fun Words to Play With

Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chips

Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Chips (Photo credit: jeffsmallwood)

In all my reading I often run across some new word that catches me unaware. I used to write the word down and look it up later. Now that I listen to books, instead of reading the hard copy version, it’s trickier to catch the unfamiliar word. It’s not as easy to stop and reread the word, or capture it for later look ups. So I haven’t been picking up new ones as well as I’d like.

I do have a few lists around with words I’ve found over the years. Some of them are “old-fashioned” words that are seldom heard, but ought to be used more. Some are nonsense words like those often created delights hidden in the writings of  Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein or Lewis Carroll.

This short list isn’t so much new words as it’s words I like the sound of. The way they bounce off your tongue, or imitate the thing that they are makes them especially appealing. Sometimes it’s a word I’ve heard often enough but was uncertain of the definition.

They’re easier to appreciate if you say them out loud.

Humdinger –  somebody or something exceptional

Snog – to kiss (doesn’t sound all that wonderful, does it?)

Snickerdoodle – a crisp cookie with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top

Scooch – moving a small amount or distance

Smooch – kiss (this version sounds much more inviting)

Diddle – to cheat, swindle or hoax “hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed to see such a sight and the dish ran away with the spoon.”

Dillydally – to waste time by loitering or procrastinating

Chortle – a breathy, gleeful laugh

Scrumptious – splendid and delectable, like a snicker doodle

Bumptious – noisily self-assertive

Do you have any favorite words? How about a new word you’ve heard recently? Please share if you do!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Few Words to Remind Me

The elusive qualities of clarity and focus in life drive me crazy sometimes. My priorities get squidgy and mixed up all too often. How I spend my time doesn’t always reflect what’s really important in my life.Seems like I’m always searching for balance.

I have a few reminders around my home that, if I’m paying attention, can help me with my perspective, my priorities and my balance.

Sure the photos are a bit out of focus. I find that symbolic. That’s another reminder. You see, I’m not a photographer, but I am a writer. The words say more than the picture of the words do.

WelcomeIf you came to my home this is what you’d be greeted with at the front door. I want everyone who comes into my home to feel welcomed. I hope there’s a sense of open arms and relaxation when you walk through the door.

HugsI haven’t always been a demonstrative person. In fact, I still work on it. But I’ve learned the power of a sincere hug and have embraced (hahaha) the idea and practice of hugs.

KindnessOne of the most important qualities a person can possess is kindness. Helping out in small ways, sharing, paying attention to those around you, trying not to be judgmental. Kindness is a thousand little things that add up to something enormous and powerful.

FamilyIn a crisis where is the first place your thoughts race to? Family. The most basic instinct is to protect and love these people. And yet, sometimes, due to familiarity, selfishness, tiredness, or other reasons, they can be the ones we treat with the least amount of kindness and love.

laughterHere’s what gets me through many a tough spot. If I can see the humor in a stupid situation then I can get through it. If I can’t then I look for something to laugh about somewhere, anywhere. A good joke, a funny story, a hilarious picture. Laughter has magical powers to melt impenetrable walls, soften hearts and lift loads. A day without laughter is a rough one.

BlessingsWhen life gets to feeling too heavy it helps me to remember how blessed I am. Whether it’s a daily practice of writing down a few good things in my life, or a weekly practice of expressing gratitude, or daily prayers of thanks, it’s vital for me to pay attention to and acknowledge that my life is blessed beyond measure.  Those blessings take on so many forms, large and small, weird and wild, immediate and occasional.

LoveI am lucky to have tons of this in various forms in my days. I can’t even begin to list all the ways I feel loved and cared for. It’s phenomenal, it’s decadent, it’s more than one person ought to have. I hope I’m sharing as much as I’m getting. I hope you find love in abundance in your life, too.

JoyGiven all I’ve just shared, is it any wonder that I feel joy? Apparently it’s the central theme in my life. In spite of money struggles, health issues, car troubles, heaviness on my heart and worries about a zillion things, I still feel joy every single day. That is a miracle to me.

What are the words that surround your life, hang on your walls and fill your life? I’m curious to know. I might have missed a few important ones.

Categories: Family, Joy, Love, Relationships | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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