Good words

This is a very different post for me. Non-political (mostly), and more like a diary of experiences. A FaceBook friend posted the list of words, taken from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It made me think of some salient examples when I’ve felt each of these things, and I, for some unknown reason, felt the need to jot some of them down here.

Sonder, the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own. This one is nearly constant for me. While driving, at the mall, supermarket. I’m in a constant state of sonder.

Kenopsia, the eerie forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet. At work every winter break, every summer. Eerie, yes, but I love it.

Jouska, a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head. Every single day, mostly at night, often when driving in the car. To me, this sounds more like a verb though. “I jouska every single night.”

Ellipsism, a sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out. I distinctly remember a moment, looking at my daughter, feeling such sadness that I’ll never know what she’s like as a little old lady. This killed me. I hope and can reasonably expect to see her grow up, see her marry, have children, a career, a family, all of that. But there’s no way that I’ll live long enough to see her in her twilight years. Hits hard.

Lachesism, the desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire. This reminds me of things I’ve written before about persecution envy.

Occhiolism, the awareness of the smallness of your perspective. Probably the reason I haven’t shared this (on purpose) with anybody other than my wife.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s