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Stop it with the *all white men*

I have to say something, it isn’t going to be particularly well-spoken or eloquent, it isn’t going to be all I need or want to say, but I have to unburden my heart in some small way . . .

I am noticing an alarming trend sweeping through our country, one that takes white men and categorically dumps them all into the same heap of rubbish, ready to be set ablaze.

This scares me. So much.

See, I have three sons. White men. Good, good men. Perhaps better than most, and right now, they are being set up to receive the years of backlash that are undoubtedly going to be the result of this campaign of blame.

They are not any of the things currently being spewed in regard to white men everywhere. When you say these things, write these things, share these things, you are actively putting my sons future at risk.

There are men and women of every color worthy of being called out in this way, but not as a group, as individuals.

And as far as any comments to the effect of, “This has been done to MY people”, or any other comparisons, just stop. Not here. I did not do those things. My sons did not do those things.

All we are doing is further DIVIDING us as a people. – all Asian men – all Indian men – all black men – all white men – this DOES NOT work.

Hello? Hello? . . . Hello?

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Phone solicitors are fun. One just called. Caller ID alerted me to the obvious solicitation expert waiting for me to pick up, I answered, didn’t say hello, just answered and listened. He waited the obligatory 10 seconds like he was obviously trained to do before saying hello. He said it 6 times. He did not hang up though. He said it two more times and waited.

A tiny bit of the laughter I was holding back escaped and he quickly said, “Hello! I won’t take up much of your time, how are you doing this evening?” He waited for about five seconds.

“Hello? Hello? Are you still there?”

Five more seconds tick by.

“Ma’am? Hello? Hello? This will only take a minute or two of your time. Hello? Is there a good time for me to call back?”

Three seconds.

“Hello?”

Five seconds.

Click.

He was persistent and patient. I like that in a phone solicitor. Wait . . . no. No I don’t.

Crystal R. Cook

*ish* day . . .

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I keep telling myself I need to get up and do something at least relatively productive today. The problem is, I don’t much care for being told what to do, so I am rather at odds with myself at the moment. On one hand, I am trying to convince myself it’s my own personal desire to rise and be responsible, on the other, I am my own authority figure and feel the need to rebel.

I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you missed it, I’m not entirely crazy. I can’t be the only one with an ongoing, internal discourse in regard to how best spend the day ahead. At the heart of this particular issue is this, I’m tired. Physically, I’m awake, chipper even. Alright, that’s an exaggeration almost tantamount to a lie, but I am awake and in a fairly fair(ish) mood. It will be safe to remove the ish once I’ve finished my coffee, at least I am fairly certain(ish) it will be.

My current level of tired goes beyond the physical. I am weary in many ways at my very core. It’s like everything in me just realized it’s been running on empty for too long and the gears have ground to a halt. Maybe this is why I drink too much coffee. Perhaps I am feeding my fragile engine with the wrong fuel. Nah, it just needs something in addition to my beloved brew.

~ OR ~ I am just being lazy and all of this diatribical wordage is nothing more than me justifying my reluctance to do laundry.  *diatribical – it is a word today. If the dictionary can now include hashtag, I can play with my words as I wish. Octothorpe, by the way, it is an octothorpe. 

I’ve approximately two, possibly three more sips in my cup and am contemplating a second fix, oh, but that requires action on my part, it’s a worthy enough endeavor I suppose. Well worthy. I may make some tea in lieu of the java, sounds rather delightful actually. I was hoping my rambling would lead me and spur me forward in my quest for motivation, but thus far the most appealing thing I’ve come up with is sitting on the porch with my coffee, or tea, and losing myself completely between the pages of a book.

I may get dressed today, the probability of remaining in my pajamas is likely though, quite likely as a matter of fact since doing the wash has not yet made it to the top of my to-do list for the day. My cup is now emptied and a decision has to be made, I’m flipping a coin . . .

Crystal R. Cook

Dear Me . . .

Dear Me - The Qwiet Muse

Just to clarify ~ I’m not crazy. I don’t have split personalities, the one I have may be splintered just a little bit though. Truthfully, we all have many faces and facets that make up the entirety of who we are. Sometimes we disconnect from self, we may not even be aware we’ve neglected certain aspects of ourselves, but eventually it begins to manifest outwardly and when it does, people notice.

It may be some internal attempt at self-preservation, it may be our experiences in the moment are simply so overwhelming they overshadow parts of who we are. When his happens it can lead to depression, self-doubt, and a sense of emptiness in our lives. I’ve seen it happen to those around me, people dealing with illness, heavy work loads, and other life-changing events. I see it happen often with caregivers and parents. It’s happened to me.

Women seem particularly susceptible, especially mothers. We tend to forget we are more than just wives and mothers and the ten thousand other things we are expected to be. We are unique and complex individuals, there really is more to us than what the world sees, there is more to us than we can sometimes see as well.

We often push parts of ourselves to the deepest depths of our inner being, we become what we think everyone needs and expects us to be. That’s okay as long as we don’t forget to nourish the essence of who we are. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves we are important too.

When my kids were still little ones, I went through a period of loss. Loss of self. My life was a whirlwind of schools, doctors, therapists, and medication. I had four young children, two with developmental disabilities, a husband frequently away in service of his country, and a recent diabetes diagnosis. I lost myself in the mayhem.

In a rare and quiet moment the weight of it all bore down on me and I knew I had to do something or I wouldn’t have the strength or the will to continue. I hadn’t picked up a pen to write much more than grocery lists and schedules to keep for a long while, that night I decided to dust off my journal and try to make sense of it all.

What I ended up penning to the page seemed odd, and to be honest, I thought at the time, stupid. I closed my journal feeling no better than I had when I’d opened it. The next day though, I felt stronger. I took little breaks throughout the day to sit and read, to simply sit in thought. I felt a sense of peace. The rest of the week I felt lighter, I enjoyed my days a little more.

I’d forgotten about my journal entry until I decided to write something about a month later, I was surprised at what I found. I didn’t recall writing the words I was reading. I’d penned a letter to myself. It was the first of many . . .

Hello there my old friend. It’s been so long since we’ve had a moment to talk. I just thought I would check in with you and see if you’re okay. Are you? I only ask because you’ve been so distanced from me lately. Remember the hours we used to spend together in thought or in silent prayer? Have you forgotten how wonderful it was, sitting back in the sun, reading and resting?

I miss the quiet moments we used to spend together. I miss hearing your laughter. Do you laugh anymore? Tears seem to have replaced that twinkle in your eyes and that saddens me. I wish I could help. I am trying, do you even hear me? I know you must, you simply have to. If we could just reconnect I know it would ease your troubled heart.

I can feel your loneliness, it is mine as well. There’s no need to be lonely, I am still here. My presence seems to be crowded and nearly lost by all of the pressures and pains you’re feeling. I know the responsibilities you have are great, but what happened to the time you used to make for us . . . for you, the time used to rejuvenate your soul and refresh your mind and spirit?

You cannot keep going without checking in with me every now and then you know. You need me and I need you. What would we be without one another? I shudder at the thought of it. I know right now you feel you do not have time for me, but I think if you tried you would find you really do.

I’m not asking for days or even hours, just a few stolen moments every once in a while. We could read a chapter or two in an old book or step outside and let the cool winters breeze give us goosebump kisses. We could sip a cup of tea and write poetry and breathe.

Please think it over, I know you will feel better once we have been in each other’s company for a spell. I will be here for you when you’re ready, just as I always am. I do hope you will squeeze me in soon. I’m afraid if you do not I will lose you forever. What would become of me? What would become of you?

I whispered a prayer for us. I look forward to spending some time with you soon. Sooner than later I hope.

I miss you and I love you . . .

Sincerely yours.

A little part of you.

Crystal R. Cook

Neologism

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Neologism – /niːˈɒlədʒɪzəm/; from Greek νέο- néo-, ‘new’ and λόγος lógos, ‘speech, utterance’, borrowed from the French, néologisme in the 1700s, is the creation of new words, which of course is nothing new, Shakespeare was a master neologist and before him, well, someone had to invent them.

Language is ever evolving and forever fascinating. There has always been and will most certainly always be, debate surrounding the usefulness and relevance in regards to the coinage of new words, recent decades have spawned many new words and spurred many such debates.

I must admit I’m not always on the side of pop culture when it comes to cementing certain words to the history of language. Though I profess to be a tried and true logophile, such an unseemly name for such a beautiful obsession, I do struggle with certain recent entrants into our everyday vernacular.

Several years ago I was a bit taken back when I jokingly typed muffin top into dictionary.com and actually found a definition. It is right there in black and white, listed as a noun, defined as flesh that falls over the waistband of a garment, example: muffin tops hanging over tight jeans. Etymology, 2003; for its resemblance to the food . . . also known as muffin roll.

This discovery led me to type in my bad, forty-eight meanings followed by even further explanations. At least now I know where to go when I’m unsure what the teenage beings inhabiting the planet are saying. In January of 2005 the American Dialect Society deemed luanqibaozhao least likely to succeed in its Words of the Year vote, fittingly, it is Chinese for a complicated mess, fitting as well for some of today’s new entrants into dictionary prestige.

A newly coined word for newly coined words is protologism, you won’t find this in any mainstream dictionary, at least not yet, it has however, earned entry in urbandictionary.com – protologism – n Greek protos, first, original + Greek logos, word; cf. prototype, neologism – a newly created word which has not yet gained any wide acceptance. It is a prototype or a hypothetical projection of a new lexical unit before it may become current in writing or speech.

The word “protologism” proposed here and now is itself an example of protologism. In contrast to protologisms, neologisms are words that have already been in public usage by authors other than their inventors. As soon as a protologism finds its way into newspapers and websites, journals and books, it becomes a neologism.

Old(ish) new words. Radar was birthed in 1941, while technically an acronym for radio detecting and ranging, it is still a relatively new word, that same year the word robotics was accepted. In 1968 blackhole became another mainstream word. Hyperspace (1934), phaser, (1966), metaverse (1992) and replicant (1982) are also examples of new old words. Political correctness, soccer mom, genocide, homophobia, and meritocracy all came in to being between 1943 and 1992.

Nonce words almost fit into the category of new words, these are words made up for a specific, usually one time use in literary pursuits. Over a thousand nonce words appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, “touch-me-‘not-ishness (stand-off-ish.) 1837 Dickens, There was a dignity in the air, a touch-me-not-ishness in the walk, a majesty in the eye of the spinster aunt. cot’queanity (character or quality of a (female) cotquean. [The housewife of a cot or labourer’s hut] 1601 B. Jonson Poetaster We tell thee thou angerest us, cotquean; and we will thunder thee in pieces for thy cotqueanity. I’m rather fond of several of them.

Onto some of our newer additions, many of which I have a hard time understanding their usage, but by popular demand they can now be looked up and utilized for generations. Mouse potato, earwurm, sexting, man cave, bucket list, unibrow, bling-bling (or simply bling), hoody, manga, ginormous, soul patch, supersize, himbo, google, drama queen, ringtone, crunk, degenderize, ixnay (yes, pig-latin), biodiesel, telenovella, docusoap, dramedy, smackdown, spyware, emoticon, chill pill, and trekkie are among the new and wondrous words immortalized in print.

There are other very real and very invented words in the English Oxford Dictionary of notable origin. Hobbit for instance, created in 1937 by J.R.R Tolkien. Grok was made up by Robert Heinlein in 1961 for his novel Stanger in a Strange Land. Camelious was coined by Kipling in 1902 and Shazam was invented for the Captain Marvel Comics in 1940. The word spoof was invented for a game created by Arthur Roberts in 1884. The word blatant was coined Edmund Spencer in 1596 in The Faerie Queen to describe a thousand tongued monster representing slander.

There will always be words, ancient, old, new and newer. I may not like them all, but I can’t help but love each one of them.

Crystal R. Cook