Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Joy of "Obscure Sorrows"

 Mostly the weather this week has been very "unjoyous." After a week of summer, we are back into the cold and grey of a Winter/Spring. However, coffee this week with a friend was joyous! In fact my friend recommended a book that I might like - "Obscure Sorrows." The author, John Koenig, creates words based on their Latin, Greek, etc, roots to explain, what is often obscure feelings or states of mind. 

For example:
“Sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

From the German word for special.


“Adronitis - n. the frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone—spending the first few weeks chatting in their psychological entryway, with each subsequent conversation like entering a different anteroom, each a little closer to the centre of the house—wishing instead that you could start there and work your way out, exchanging your deepest secrets first, before easing into casualness, until you’ve built up enough mystery over the years to ask them where they’re from, and what they do for a living.”  

From the Greek word Andron - the part of the house reserved for men.

For Andronitis, I might use Eonitis, from the English word "eon" - ages and ages. For Sonder, I might use Amassonian from the English - masses.

I have said before that I am a wordsmith. I love using words, finding new words, coining words and arranging words - a.k.a. writing.

I am, however, more fascinated with John Koenig's thoughts behind the words than the actual onomatopoeic value of his words. I am obviously a very superficial person. It has never bothered me that I could spend years getting to know a person and yet never really plumb their core. Nor does it bother me that I don't know much about the lives of passersby. Wait, I am very curious about people who are out and about at 3:00am. Never cease to know for whom the clock ticks in the wee hours of the deepest dark. Serial killers abound.

In this cold but productive week. I bought a grade four Conservatory music book and I am learning a new piece - Allegretto in E Minor, which curiously has an F-sharp. I also joined the University of Edinburgh's Coursera to start to understand music theory. Both small joys in the sense of moving forward. I even thought that I might resume my conservatory studies with lessons.

For the Joy Jar, the highlight of my week has to be coffee with my friend and her recommendation of Obscure Sorrows. I think I have to buy the book.

The picture? Now I am curious about the artistic process. Above is a model of The Globe theatre in London. It's been on my mind lately. I did a tour of the rebuilt Globe a few years ago and promised myself that I would see a play or two there one day - unfulfilleditis - maybe.

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