The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig gives us words we maybe didn’t even know we need.

It begins with words from the comedian Steven Wright.

I read the dictionary.

I thought it was a poem

about everything.

I offer a few words, all three are nouns, and their definitions and lineage.

Chrysalism: the amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.

It comes from the Latin chrysalis, the pupa of a butterfly 

Trumspringa: the longing to wander off your career track in pursuit of a simple life – tending a small farm in a forest clearing, keeping a lighthouse on a secluded atoll, or becoming a shepherd in the mountains – which is just the kind of hypnotic diversion that allow your thoughts to make a break for it and wander back to their cubicles in the city.

It’s derived from the German Stadtzentrum, “city center” + Pennsylvanian German Rumspringa, “hopping around”. Rumspringa is a putative tradition in which Amish teens dip their toes in modernity for a while before choosing whether to commit to the traditional way of life.

Occhiolism: The awareness of how fundamentally limited your senses are – noticing how little of your field of vision is ever in focus, how few colors you’re able to see, how few sounds you’re able to hear, and how intrusively your brain fills in the blanks with its own cartoonish extrapolations – which makes you wish you could experience the whole of reality instead of only ever catching a tiny glimpse of it, to just once step back from the keyhole and finally open the door.

Derived from the Italian “occhiolino” (little eye), the original name that Gailleo gave to the microscope in 1609. 

Looking south this afternoon
Fog coming from the west

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