The word of the day for June 8, 2013: UNDETECTED
I’ve always hated parties since I can remember. The endless anxiety: Will people come? Will I put my foot in my mouth? Will I become an unspoken pariah?
I do like being invited to parties, though—that part is great; the idea that I’m normal enough to pop on someone’s radar. And it allows me to be in control—now it’s a choice—and guess what? I’m choosing not to go. Weirder still, when the party is going on and I’m not there, I almost always struggle: Should I go? Do they notice I’m not there? There’s probably a name for this kind of crazy. Maybe I was there…oh sorry I missed you…not sure how you could have missed me…yeah I was there. No I wasn’t…but man, great party.full article →
The word of the day for May 13, 2013: TABOO
When I was in the fourth grade I walked a grueling half mile to profess my undying love to Stephanie Nelson. I picked some flowers along the way, which I hid behind my back as I rang the bell. Stephanie’s mother answered.
“Can I help you?”
“Is Stephanie home?”
“Yes, I’ll get her.”
A few moments later Stephanie Nelson was before me in all her glory. I handed her the flowers, stammering…full article →
The word of the day for December 21, 2012: SCATTER
When I think of the word “scatter” I think of…um…let’s see…uh…I forget. Let’s see what others have to say while I try and remember what it means to me.
scattered leaves skitter down
sidewalks like marching
soldiers invading enemy yards
their toes scratching the
cement are reminiscent of claws
The word of the day for December 15, 2012: STIR
The events of the past week have stirred emotions around the globe. There’s been enough stirring. It’s time to do something. I’m not saying take away the guns—that’s unconstitutional. However, I would offer that US citizens should be able to own guns, but only guns and weapons available at the time the Constitution was unanimously signed in 1790 (or earlier). If someone can smuggle a musket past airport security, waltz into an elementary school with a a howitzer cannon, or Catherine-Wheel unsuspecting theatergoers…full article →
The word of the day for December 6, 2012: ROOF
When I was maybe nine or ten, I thought it’d be fun to jump off the roof with an umbrella. And it was. Lucky for me and oneword.com I grew up in a scalene triangle-shaped house and decided to do a test run off its lowest point, around two and a half meters. Even though my entire body weighed the equivalent of my present-day big toe, the stretchers flew straight up halfway down…full article →
The word of the day for December 1, 2012: COOK
The origin of cooking is dubious, with theories spanning 10,000 to 2.5 million years. My guess is that someone—let’s call him “Grog”—was warming himself by the fire, gnawing on a fish he caught with his bare hands earlier that day. Thunder struck in the distance, startling him, causing him to launch his fish into the coals…full article →
The word of the day for November 28, 2012: PAST.
Technically, everything we experience is the past. By the time our sensory system translates a bunch of vibrating waves into images, taste, touch, sound, and scent, the event itself is over. It may be just a few milliseconds in the past, but in the past nonetheless.full article →
The word of the day for November 22, 2012: SOON.
As I was scanning through entries to feature in this post, my son sent me a text message asking if I could pick him up from school. “Okay, I’ll be there soon.” I typed. Before hitting send, I thought about what a wishy-washy, noncommittal word “soon” is; a word that implies that something is just around the corner—often when it’s not. Even when “soon” speaks of hope, it’s largely indicative of some sort of lack. I revised my reply: “I’ll be there in 14 minutes.”…full article →
The word of the day for November 24, 2012: LIBRARY.
Library is a word that technology has rendered nearly obsolete. I had forgotten what a magical place a library used to be for me: construction paper letters announcing the new; musty smells of aged leather and browning paper announcing the old; librarians navigating a mysterious decimal system; the cacophony of crossing waves of passion from poets, prophets, and imaginers transcending time; the silence.full article →
The word of the day for November 23, 2012: SQUARE.
As the adage goes, “there are two sides to every story.” This one has four.
A square is rare in nature. Through the airplane window at 30,000 feet, rivers snake across the landscape as meandering peaks fork through the limestone…