To honour the spookiness of October, today’s word is arcane.
The first known use of arcane was in 1547.
Arcane is an adjective; meaning known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric.
Something arcane is understood or known by only a few people.
Related words are esoteric, impenetrable, cabalistic, mysterious, mystic, occult, recondite, unaccountable, unknowable.
Word origin: from Latin arcānus secret, hidden, from arcēre to shut up, keep safe.
Have you ever felt an affinity to a time or place you’ve never physically experienced?
Felt drawn to a period of history for no logical reason?
I enjoy the concept of past lives; of reincarnation. It is comforting to me that perhaps my soul has been here on earth before, always learning – forever learning, even.
When I was a child, around 8 years old, I checked out a book about children who lived through the Jewish Holocaust. Reading their stories broke my heart. Imagining myself in their place, wondering if I would have had the same courage in the face of death. I went on to read Anne Frank’s diary, along with every personal account I could get my hands on. (Just last week I finished The Light Of Days: The Untold Story Of Women Resistance Fighters In Hitler’s Ghettos by Judy Batalion. It’s an honest, unflinching and brutal look at what women went through in Hitler’s ghettos during World War II; I highly recommend reading the book).
Other time periods I feel an affinity to: 1700s Russia, 1700s France, 1400s-1600s England, and Cleopatra VII’s Egypt.
The word affinity can be a noun or an adjective. It first appeared around 1275–1325; via Old French from Latin affīnitāt – connected by marriage, from affīnis bordering on, related.
From vocabulary.com: “If you get along with someone very well, you have an affinity with them. Sometimes opposites attract, so you might feel a strange affinity to someone who is seemingly very different from you. When you are attracted to someone or something a great deal, we say that you have an affinity, a natural connection.”
From definitions.net: “A natural attraction or feeling of kinship to a person or thing.”
In sociology, affinity refers to kinship of spirit.
Today’s word is: diabolical.
Diabolical is a fun adjective that comes from the Old French diabolique, or ecclesiastical Latin diabolicus, from diabolus ‘devil’; the form diabolical dates from the early 16th century. Like the word devil, its roots trace back to the Greek diabolos, a word that literally means “slanderer.”
Diabolical meanings: 1. Characteristic of the Devil, or so evil as to be suggestive of the Devil.
And 2. Disgracefully bad or unpleasant; evil.
I like a good diabolical grin, personally.
Upon waking from an impromptu 5+ hour nap (oops), I’m hungry (that’s what happens when I sleep through dinnertime; I’d rather sleep than eat – which is a topic for another day!)
But it brings me to a word that I like very much: edacious.
Edacious is an adjective, meaning 1: having a huge appetite: ravenous. And 2: excessively eager: insatiable. Some synonyms include: esurient, rapacious, ravening, ravenous, voracious, wolfish gluttonous; given to excess in consumption of especially food or drink.
Today’s word is sempiternal.
The word means eternal and unchanging; everlasting. Its origins are from Late Middle English: from Old French sempiternel or late Latin sempiternalis, from Latin sempiternus, from semper ‘always’ + aeternus ‘eternal’.
But in philosophy there is a distinction between eternal and sempiternal. Eternal implies something that is infinite outside the bounds of time, like God, while sempiternal is a more earthbound way to talk about forever.
“The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, … to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why….”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I came across the word ‘sough’ (pronounced suhf) recently. I wrote it down and looked it up immediately.
From a definition page:
verb: sough; 3rd person present: soughs; past tense: soughed; past participle: soughed; gerund or present participle: soughing
- (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.) make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound.”the soughing of the wind in the canopy of branches”
noun: sough; plural noun: soughs
2. a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound as made by the wind in the trees or the sea.
From Middle English swoughen, from Old English swōgan; akin to Goth gaswogjan to groan, Lithuanian svagėti to sound.
Example from literature:
“The sough of the wind and the fleeing cloud of night was all they saw or heard.” – The Dew of Their Youth by S. R. Crockett
I don’t know what it’s like to feel well.
For the past few days I’ve been feeling grey; colourless. I went for a walk. I read a good book. I spent time with people I love. And yet, the feeling remains.
Depression is this insidious, oily, thick black smoke curling around me, clutching at the back of my neck. It whispers all kinds of mean things – you’re worthless, pointless, everyone would be better off if you were gone – and I try to close my eyes against it. But sleep brings too vivid, sometimes frightening dreams, so sleeping the fog and the ache away does me no good.
I would love to channel these feelings (lack of feelings?) into writing. I have a story to tell; I feel its claws. It is digging itself out of me. I really should stop fighting it so much.
That’s what I do, you know. Fight. Every day is a battle against something: the feelings I have about myself, about others.
I am tired. Again. I am scared.
It’s funny, though, how I’m afraid to break. I’m already broken. Lots of jumbled up, jagged pieces in my head. In my heart.
What happens if I embrace the broken?
Today’s post is an ode to one of my favourite letters: v.
There are so many lovely ‘v’ words (vicious, vain, vivid, vitriol, velvet…) but I will define my top three: viscous, voracious, and visceral.
Viscous is an adjective that means “to have a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity.” I like to use this word when describing blood.
Voracious is an adjective, meaning “to devour.” One can have a voracious appetite for food; they can also have a voracious appetite for reading books (like me!).
Visceral is an adjective that is mostly used in a figurative way, for example: “characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect; dealing with coarse or base emotions.” It is still used in biology, where viscera refers to “the organs in the cavities of the body, especially those in the abdominal cavity.”
Ah, welcome to Scorpio season. It’s my time to shine!
For a long time I’ve had a keen interest in life’s mysteries, the occult, different forms of spirituality, magick, and astrology.
Scorpios are often described as being mysterious, strong-willed, ambitious, passionate, and prone to jealousy.
Love can make us obsessive, so today’s word is:
Limerence is a noun that describes ‘the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.’
I like to believe that I’m not as prone to obsession as I was in my younger years, but I may just be lying to myself.
For weeks, I haven’t been able to write.
Just thinking about writing made me feel anxious. Writing is supposed to be my outlet, not a source of stress. Instead of writing, I have been reading voraciously. I’m at the library every two weeks checking out new books. I’ve been focused on thrillers, mysteries, police procedurals, and histories of concentration camps and first-person accounts of time spent in the camps. The books range from 300-900 pages and lately, when my daughter is back at her dad’s house, I will devote hours and hours to reading.
It’s escapism. I know this. I acknowledge it.
I should be getting out of the house, going for walks and such – but I’d rather be a hermit and read the day away.
I recently saw a psychiatrist for the first time. He clocked me right away, and we discussed my low self esteem and fear of failure. He and my main doctor highly recommend more counseling, but man, it is so exhausting peering into my wounds and talking about how I feel and why.
I dislike talking about my issues in person. Writing about them, however, can be cathartic. I’d also much rather hear about other people’s problems and issues… so I don’t have to focus on my own.
I’m at a turning point in my life. I can feel it. I’m on the verge of something.