Wednesday, October 19, 2011

these same hills


old windmill falls silent
tonight
trees are loudly brandishing
their sword-gleams in
a calm gloam filtering
through any open atmosphere
this clime hugs these same hills
that children race skateboards down
while ladybugs come in; open their wings in rhythm
with electric fences
crickets
and my heart
otherwise old windmill falls silent
tonight

Monday, October 17, 2011

work. play. rest.

the westminister catechism's answer to the question, "what is the chief end of man?" holds love and enjoyment as its two main tenents (response: "to love God and enjoy Him forever".) two main ideas that, in my opinion, can never be overdone. carrying this into everyday life, i am challenging myself into a triad of work, play and rest (one of my students insists this should be in alphabetical order, so for him i will type play, rest and work.) whichever order you ascribe to these, they have become necessary companions to my rhythm of life. each of them, well done, promotes the other and so on and so forth until you can't imagine life without them. work. raised with a german ancestry work ethic, i am a "leave no stone unturned" kind of person when it comes to projects who loves efficiency, multi-tasking and completeness. nothing is more satisfying to me than an honest day's work. play. not to be confused with mere leisure, i would define play as the act of being so fully present in an enjoyable activity for it's own sake that you lose track of time. (what good are toys without the ability to enjoy them?) have more fun, i say. rest. when i'm truly resting i might stare out the window or cease striving in my mind. it may include a nap, but more deeply, it is a sense of being at peace with the way things are around me; relenquishing control and abiding there. then i'm ready to work and play all over again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the Word Finder

what do "the thighmaster", "the terminator" and "the ginsu knife set that can cut steel and still slice a tomato" have in common? they have nothing on The Word Finder. that's right, alert readers (written in the tone of an infomercial) it was worth the wait. not only am i the proud owner of a new dictionary, but it has a built-in thesaurus. and...(pause for dramatic effect) it's a hardcover. as a wise friend says, "life is short, buy the hardcover." so your blogging wordgirl is ready and armed. more vocabulary coming your way than you might know what to do with. call it a portent, knell or presage, but either way, you've been warned.

Monday, October 3, 2011

inheritance vs. legacy

as quoted together with my friends from alaska, on visiting for a memorial. "there's a big difference between an inheritance and a legacy. an inheritance is what you leave to someone. a legacy is something you leave in someone."

hey, you with the ursine languor

i admit, sheepishly, i've been looking up all my vocabulary for this blog on the internet. so (kindly see last post) until i get a dictionary, i'll need your help in fasting this aspect of technology so i don't end up as a clerk in some office supply-like store (again, please refer to the last entry). however, there were several unique words in my weekly reading. *"ursine" being one of them. which, my alert reading friend noted, is "of or having to do with bears". she is one smart gal. together we found "sagacious" in c.s. lewis. here are just a few more if you have, ahem, a dictionary handy and want to achieve blog-commenting fame: coaming, transom, halyard, ignominiously, and desultory. plus just some clever phraseology: "omnipotent as Excalibur", "Quixote-like", "the hapless skipper's tale of ineptitude", "a matched pair in unacknowledged communion", "with less alliteration but more dignity", and "metronomic thwacks", (see also george howe colt's novel the big house: a century in the life of an american summer home, chapters 12 and 13 on sailing and tennis, respectively)*sample sentence, "my uncle was also tall, but his muscular build and slight slouch gave him an ursine languor on the court that reminded me of the heavyweight boxing champion of the time, Sonny Liston" (p. 163). extra points if you can use them in sentences.

four words: dic-tion-ar-y

i realized, to my chagrin, that i no longer own a dictionary. i have, or rather, i did. what became of it between moves remains a mystery, one part book-loan black hole and one part thrift store. i have a french-english dictionary and more concordances than any monk could shake a quill at. but no dictionary. so i went into a store today, one of those office supply-like ones (one part technology, one part idiocy) to inquire if they had any. "any whats?!" said the store clerk. "dictionaries." i repeated. "oh, well, we have some electronic ones." "no, i just want a regular old book kind, you know, made of paper." "ummm...i think they come in spanish too," she said, still not grasping my query. "the electronic ones?" "yeah". "so you don't have any that aren't electronic?" "right. but they come in spanish." "i got that part. ok, thanks for your time." "no problem. are you sure you don't want to look at the electronic ones?" "i'm sure, thanks again. plus i don't speak spanish."