Wordy Wednesday

Today’s word is: diabolical.

Diabolical is a fun adjective that comes from the Old French diabolique, or ecclesiastical Latin diabolicus, from diabolus ‘devil’; the form diabolical dates from the early 16th century. Like the word devil, its roots trace back to the Greek diabolos, a word that literally means “slanderer.”

Diabolical meanings: 1. Characteristic of the Devil, or so evil as to be suggestive of the Devil.

And 2. Disgracefully bad or unpleasant; evil.

I like a good diabolical grin, personally.

Harry Potter

In 2001, I was 11 years old.

On November 16 of that year (my birthday!), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had its first showing in my small city. My best friend’s father worked at the movie theatre, so my best friend and I were there almost every weekend.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I had no idea what or who Harry Potter was, but it was the only kid-friendly movie showing that night. My best friend and I squeezed into the last available seats in the front row. We sat back, craned our necks, and the obsession began.

Over the Christmas holidays we devoured the books in the series that were already out. We excitedly discussed theories and covered our bedroom walls with printed photos of our favourite characters. We discovered the world of fanfiction – the website Schnoogle, in particular. We would read as many chapters as possible on our dial-up computers on school nights and on weekends.

I began writing my own fanfiction around this time (2001/2002). My pre-teen self wrote pages of self-insert Digimon: Digital Monsters stories, X-Men stories, and of course, notebooks-full of self- and friend-insert Harry Potter stories. I enjoyed the challenge of keeping the characters as close to canon as possible. I have vague memories of my character dating Ron Weasley while carrying on an affair with Draco Malfoy behind his back. My 12 year old self loved drama just as much as my current 31 year old self does!

Pen to paper is still my preferred way of writing

Now, in 2021, I get to experience Harry Potter through a different lens. My 9 year old daughter has been watching the movies; we finished the first part of the 7th and final movie a few days ago. She knows bits and pieces of the story, but was never particularly interested in reading the books or watching the movies until lately (she wanted to know what her friends were talking about so she could join in). Dobby’s death hit me differently as an adult. My daughter was very upset about it, understandably. The second part of the final movie is going to be even worse, emotion-wise, I’ve warned her.

At least in the epilogue portion the badly-done old age makeup on the actors should make her laugh!

Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to the first Wordy Wednesday of 2021!

I have been dealing with some still unknown health issues of late. Intense fatigue (that isn’t new), along with joint pain and stiffness. The joint pain and stiffness I’ve just kind of ‘dealt with’ over the past five or so years, but during the summer when I became more active, the pain got much worse. My entire body would be so stiff at the end of the day, I couldn’t move without pain.

Finally, I’m doing something about it. Well, trying to. A chiropractor has helped. Now I’m having more vigorous rounds of blood work done to hopefully pinpoint what the hell is wrong.

Back to the word I’ve chosen to explore: selcouth.

Selcouth is an archaic adjective, first used before the 12th century.

It means unusual, strange, or extraordinary in appearance, effect, manner, etc; peculiar. 2. not known, seen, or experienced before; unfamiliar. Middle English, from Old English seldcūth, from seldan seldom + cūth known.

“The future queen’s selcouth beauty was both rare and striking, catching the eye of the king.”

Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of Wordy Wednesday, where I share a word I really like!

Today that word is: sophrosyne.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: sophrosyne is a noun that comes from the Greek sōphrosynē, from sōphrōn being of sound mind, prudent, reasonable (from saos, sōs whole, safe, sound + -phrōn; akin to Greek phrēn mind) + -sȳnē, suffix used to form abstract nouns.

Sophrosyne is an ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in a well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, like temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control. 

Sophrosyne was one of the good spirits to escape Pandora’s box and abandoned mankind in her flight back to Olympus.

Sophrosyne is considered the opposite of hubris, which is excessive pride or arrogance, especially the kind that clouds judgment.

An example: “Though some of her initial ideas were unrealistic, she maintained her sophrosyne that prevented her from pitching anything too crazy.”

Remembrance Day

In 2000, I was in 5th grade. In November of that year, we were tasked with memorizing the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. On Remembrance Day, each one of us faced the class and recited the poem.

All these years later, I remember the words.

Today stirs up a lot of feelings. My dad joined the Canadian Armed Forces when he was 18. He was inspired by his own father’s service; he wanted to help people and make the world a better place.

So I grew up on military bases around Canada. I knew my dad had a very important job. His job took him away from us for months at a time. As I got older, I would hold back tears during the schools’ Remembrance Day ceremonies. I thought of the times he was in war zones; the times he came back but some his friends and colleagues didn’t.

I remember when he was overseas in Afghanistan. I would hardly breathe when the news came on TV, waiting to see if his name and photo would flash across the screen.

The first time I saw my dad cry was when he said goodbye to us before his second tour. I was a teenager, and I did my best to hold it together for my parents.

He is retired now. I know that as a combat engineer and EOD specialist, he saw and experienced some (or a lot of) very bad things. He doesn’t talk about it.

So on Remembrance Day, I am thankful to all soldiers for their service. I hate that they experienced so many awful things; I hate war. All of the senseless death and destruction makes me physically ill. I hate that war is so often viewed as necessary.

We can do better.

Feeling It

The days are getting shorter. My favourite time of year is upon us! I love being able to go outside and feel a cool breeze. I’m not uncomfortably hot, I’m not uncomfortably cold – it’s perfect.

I like to take my puppy, Bailey, on long walks, letting her sniff and explore to her heart’s content. She’s endlessly curious and makes me smile every day.

Look at this face!

Every day is a fresh start. I’m really trying to be present in each moment.

Vision

COVID-19 anxiety has taken up so much space in my brain. I’m worried about getting sick, I’m worried about my family members getting sick, I’m worried worried worried. On top of the ‘regular’ anxiety I deal with, every day. I feel like a live wire, buzzing – this feeling of trepidation is always there, either at the forefront of my mind or swaying in the background, waiting to eat up everything.

I feel like my creativity has been sucked dry. I have no inspiration. No characters, no plots, no scenes – nothing.

This survival mode has killed all inspiration.

I’m still able to focus on and enjoy reading novels, thankfully. That’s one outlet I treasure.

I have a few drafts saved here on my blog. I’ve tried writing it out in different ways; I’ve tried writing about other topics.

But I’m overwhelmed. I’ve been overwhelmed before, of course, for loads of reasons, most magnified by depression and anxiety. But this is a different variety of ‘overwhelmed.’

Our world, our society, is changing so rapidly. We all feel it in different ways, some more than others. It feels like something big is coming to a head. Like a train that’s too late to stop.

I’m trying my best to be strong and brave for my child. I still try to be as frank and honest as possible; too much sugar-coating never helped any of us. Above all I make sure she knows I love her and I am her soft place to fall, as well as her fiercest protector. She and her friends are inheriting an uncertain future. Hell, we all are.

Amidst everything, I want to be positive. Stay hopeful. Continue to be loving. Change is never easy. In fact, it’s usually wretchedly hard.

So I can’t beat myself up too much about my lack of creativity. The spark is still there, I know. I do feel it, however fleetingly.

Wordy Wednesday

Upon waking from an impromptu 5+ hour nap (oops), I’m hungry (that’s what happens when I sleep through dinnertime; I’d rather sleep than eat – which is a topic for another day!)

But it brings me to a word that I like very much: edacious.

Edacious is an adjective, meaning 1: having a huge appetite: ravenous. And 2: excessively eager: insatiable. Some synonyms include: esurient, rapacious, ravening, ravenous, voracious, wolfish gluttonous; given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink.

Wordy Wednesday

Today’s word is sempiternal.

The word means eternal and unchanging; everlasting. Its origins are from Late Middle English: from Old French sempiternel or late Latin sempiternalis, from Latin sempiternus, from semper ‘always’ + aeternus ‘eternal’.

But in philosophy there is a distinction between eternal and sempiternal. Eternal implies something that is infinite outside the bounds of time, like God, while sempiternal is a more earthbound way to talk about forever. 

“The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, … to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why….”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wordy Wednesday

I came across the word ‘sough’ (pronounced suhf) recently. I wrote it down and looked it up immediately.

From a definition page:

verb: sough; 3rd person present: soughs; past tense: soughed; past participle: soughed; gerund or present participle: soughing

  1. (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.”the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches”

noun: sough; plural noun: soughs

2. a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound as made by the wind in the trees or the sea.

From Middle English swoughen, from Old English swōgan; akin to Goth gaswogjan to groan, Lithuanian svagėti to sound.

Example from literature:

“The sough of the wind and the fleeing cloud of night was all they saw or heard.”

The Dew of Their Youth by S. R. Crockett