A Word on Wednesday: Should

Should is a word I am attempting to BANISH! from my vocabulary. Should sows procrastination. Should breeds dread. Should reeks of judgement.Should is classified as an auxiliary verb, with meanings including must and ought. Auxiliary verbs are used in forming tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs.I am unable to bring to mind an instance when should conjures up a positive emotion.
– should go to the car wash
– should write a letter
– should call my dad
– should go to the gym
– should send a query letter
– should make a sales call
– should consolidate my credit cards
– should calm down
– should be happy
– should take a class
– should try a new recipe
However, washing cars and trying new recipes and calling my dad are activities that do bring  happiness. Adding the verb should elicits the feeling of something unpleasant. It implies that whatever is being done in the present moment is “less than” or “not enough.”
Should also implies indecision. It fosters crippling self doubt. As I work to eliminate should from self talk and how I talk to others, I am reminded of my mother’s familiar summertime refrain:
IN or OUT!
My mom did not say, you should be either in or out. No she commanded I decide; I wasn’t born in a barn after all.
As I work to rid should from my vernacular, I work to trust myself and stand by. I will decide to accept or decline, to do or don’t, and to follow through or move on.

A Word on Wednesday: Bliss

American mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) has this to say about bliss

“When you follow your bliss  … doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” 

bliss

The cynic will dismiss bliss, mocking the pursuit of such lavish joy. Yet, one should be careful to not confuse the word bliss with over-the-top false happiness. Bliss is not found in drunkenness or loudness or mockery. 

Rather bliss is found in sincerity and authenticity. Bliss is the freedom from hypocrisy and deceit. Bliss is found in the commitment to genuineness. 


Its definition of supreme happiness or utter joy or contentment has ties to theology’s joy of heaven and a bliss eternal. 
In the secular use of the word, I dare to remain courageously, selfishly in pursuit of bliss. 

A Word on Wednesday: Heliotropic

Heliotropic: Turning or growing toward the light. Heliotropism can be easily seen in sunflowers, which slowly turn their large flowers so that they continually face the sun. However, the adjective heliotropic can describe any noun and any light source.
A heliotropic student turns toward 

the light of knowledge.
A heliotropic flower turns toward 
the light of the sun.
Plants classified as heliotropes have flowers and leaves, which turn toward the sun. Marigolds, poppies, sunflowers, and daisies are examples of heliotropes.
Daisies are commonplace both as a wildflower and in the beds of intentional gardeners. The daisy’s hardy character survives perennially. Many a season of indecision has been soothed by pulling petal by petal — loves me, loves me not. I consider the daisy to be my favorite flower. Despite its simple, common presence, it stands out to me.  Perhaps, it was the daisy that really picked me to guide me in moving to the light.
There is grace when one can turn to face the light and absorb its radiance. Like the daisy, I long to move toward the lights of inspiration, the lights of my life, and the light offered each dawn.
Turning to the light, and thereby from darkness or shadows is not a new bright idea. The phenomenon of heliotropism was known by the Ancient Greeks, demonstrated with the word heliotropium, meaning sun turn.  
As spring builds momentum, I am again reminded to turn to light, to chart with optimism, to navigate with intention to the moving source of good. 

Verse on Groundhog Day

Lake Michigan Feb. 2, 2017
Six More Weeks
Hope peeks for cloudy skies;
Fearful of sun’s reach
To cast one’s own darkness.
Ugly. Timid. Rodent.
Watchful for the brightness,
Frightened by his shadow,
Turns inward for a stay.

A Word on Wednesday: Sum

The Latin sum (rhymes with room) translates to “I am.”
Sum is “a state of being.”

 

This is not to be confused as a verb such as
Today —
I am writing.
I am eating healthy foods.
I am loving my family.
I am packing for a family trip.
I am having a romantic dinner.
I am taking a walk.
I am enjoying the view from here.
I am grateful for this day
Sum
I am.
Regardless of if you are a mother, father, sister, brother, writer, accountant, teacher, child, black, white, rebulican, democrate, christian, muslim, greek, swimmer, runner, or any other affiliation or designation. Sum is simple entire.

I am.
That is all.
A complete sentence.
A complete thought.
Sum.

A Word on Wednesday: Present

When the words present and presentation are brought to mind, images of light shows, power points, lectures, and other performances surface.

However, the verb present (pronounced pri-zent) means to furnish or endow, to bring, to give, to hand over, to introduce, to come to show. In the purest sense of the word, presenting is simply a notion of bringing ideas into someone’s presence. 

Present, used as a verb, is a combination of Old French and Medieval Latin influence. The word marries the ideas of offering and presently.

Writing is merely a presentation. Words are committed to page as an offering to a reader.

The work one does is what is presented to the commonwealth. Indeed, the involuntary act of living is a presentation. One’s life can be noted, bookmarked, remarked upon, remembered, ignored, or bypassed.

A Word on Wednesday: Will

Today’s post is about the word will when used as an auxiliary verb. An auxiliary verb is used in forming tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. Will moves an action to the future.

After we collectively counted down the last minutes of 2016, we embarked on 2017 with its promise of 365 unwritten days.

With articulated resolutions told with varying conviction, we believed in the power of positive change. Resolutions are by definition set in the future: will lose weight, will quit smoking, will go back to school, will ask for a promotion, will pay down my debt, will attend more concerts, will make a new friend, will read twelve books, or will finish writing that novel.


A friend, who died last month at the age of 39, often repeated this common sentiment: “There are only two days that nothing can be done. One is yesterday. The other is tomorrow.”

I have come to loath the word will  in both my writing and my thoughts. No longer do I have the luxury of ignorance of immortality. There is no time to will. There is no value in saying “I will write tomorrow.” or “I will hug my loved ones tomorrow.”

The helping verb will is dependent on assumptions. The assumption of a future. The assumption of a second chance. The assumption of endless mortal days.

I challenge myself to learn from literature. I challenge myself to avoid wishful thinking. I challenge myself to avoid will my action verbs to an uncertain future.

I act today with purpose. I postpone only the least important items. Laundry may never be complete. My floors may never be those to eat upon.

Yet, I promise to eradicate the helping verb will from my vernacular. I promise to live today.

I also vow to avoid the helping verb will in my poetry and prose. Few novels are written in future tense. (If you can think of one, please let me know.)

*Note: I know not why this friend was called early and I was given more days on earth. I miss her. Her mantra was “Loving Living Life 2Day.”

Live well my friends. Live well.

 

The 2017 Word: Crescendo

It is time for a crescendo!

So …
This is the year, get loud.
 
In music, a crescendo is a gradual steady increase in loudness or force. This is a controlled set of bars, increasing the volume of an arrangement. A crescendo can wake both an artist and audience.

The internet is a buzz with picking a single word as a mantra for 2017 to replace the practice of setting goals and resolutions. 

I choose crescendo as a verb without an object, thereby, “to grow in force.” 

Rather than shout or burst, I slowly and gently summit to full capacity. With clarity, I deliberately turn up the volume in 2017.

A word: Onward

You will not find
“onward”
on a compass rose.
No one is sure
where it goes.

 

Yet, I find
tomorrow
each time I
move in its
direction.
Onward
is often
and always
the only
way to go.
 
 

Word on Wednesday: Fun

FUN IS MAN-MADE! 

Let’s plant some seeds and grow some fun. Fun online, fun in person. Fun exchanging clever gifts, fun writing parodies to familiar songs, fun with twister or catchphrase or any other party game. Fun watching “Elf,” fun singing “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer,” fun “Rocking around the Christmas Tree.” Fun under the mistletoe, fun making silly face photos, fun with egg nog, fun with candy sprinkles, fun in the snow, fun wondering how the heck you roast a chestnut anyway, fun sharing Santa stories, fun singing off key or in harmony, fun recalling the bloopers of holiday past, fun gabbing with gal pals, fun meeting the latest significant other at the dinner table, fun dancing, and fun laughing with that guest who ate the most fruitcake.

Every man, woman, and child can grow fun.
If you are unsure how,
Ask a grown up or ask a kid!