Thursday, June 22, 2023


 ...or the soul talking. I'm still completely overwhelmed by "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows." I can spend half an hour or more contemplating one word. This morning I browsed through a few in the first ten pages and came upon "jouska" from the French "jusqu'a" - until. It's a comment on the interior monologues most of us have from time to time - OK I have them daily.

Here you create the perfect conversation, retort, repartee in your mind. You are always eloquent full of bon mots and perfect quotes. The author compares this verbal jousting to baseball's batting cage. It's the practice run, where you hit the homers, before the big game. Once out on the field of life, though, you often advance through a few bunts, a stolen base, or a ho-hum walk. Those batting cage home runs are rare.

I love Koenig's comparison of our inner thoughts to Baseball. It's one of the few sports I like. I'm not sure why he chose the term "jouska," though. It's close to jousting, however, it's from the French word for "until." Perhaps it means that you can be great alone, in your mind, until you have to face the real world, where all your glory is significantly diminished. Jouska is also close to "jest" or "jesting." Some of those monologues can be really funny!

I prefer the term "sermanimus" from the Latin sermocinatio - talk or conversation and animus - soul. It's more of your mind or soul speaking. Maybe you are saying what you really feel - often something you can't say in public. It has the overtones of a sermon, a mental oration to yourself. What it's missing is the actual public performance of the speech - maybe best left unsaid.

Yes, sermanimus is a murmur, something to enjoy in your head, while venting your soul, but kept to yourself unless you have a soulmate.

"My first sermanimus today was a mental discussion with the bank that cancelled a joint credit card. I pointed out their lack of customer service, could lose a customer." In reality, when I went to the bank, they couldn't have cared less. You need a whole lot of money in this world to make a difference.

This treatment of nondescript, unmoneyed beings begs another word. Something that crystallizes the feeling of being left out, ignored, even insulted for being a pain in the batt(l)ing cage to authorities.

The picture? The baseball patch for my daughter's quilt.

Have a thoughtful day!

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