Where Are We Going and What Are We Doing In This Handbasket?

By Luke

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. — Albert Einstein

Perhaps the economic upheavals of the past few weeks have left you dazed and deeply uneasy.

Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Commerce and the Apparel Industry, American Fashion remains the envy of the world. (Photo courtesy of Todd Ehlers.)

(Note to Blog Readers of the Far-Future: We’ve dragged ourselves out of the wreckage of a really mean Recession, only to look up and see another one about to drop on our heads. It’s like we’re starring in a Road Runner cartoon.  By the way, how’s the Domestication of the Dog going? Don’t let them get away with anything!)

It seems no one in government can grasp the complexity of this situation, let alone offer solutions. Indeed, just last spring the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Slacks and Culottes released a study that suggests fully 32 percent of the federal Budget is wasted on useless programs (and a whopping 64 percent of statistics are made up).

Our leaders are locked into something resembling Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine, this time discussed with knives and broken bottles. It’s no wonder that the public is discomposed and fuddled.

That’s where the Fontana Regional Library System comes in. We have books that explain how we got into this mess and steps you can take to keep from falling into the abyss.

You can learn how to stretch your household dollars. There are lessons on coping with the forces that you can’t control and guides for developing and maintaining a faith that’ll get you through this crisis and all the vicissitudes of life. You’ll find stories that’ll take you far from whatever your situation.

That’s because we’re predicated on ideas, on words. From the Library of Alexandria to the FRL System, it’s been the same mission, the same medium.

We distribute words. Someone gets paid to put them in a particular order and we loan them out.

How can we not love words?

That’s why I’m so excited about the results of Huffingtonpost.com’s Readers’ List of the Most Beautiful Words in the English Language.

Just see how these beauties play through your mind: Ethereal; Mango; Cake; Halcyon; Mellifluous; Vivacious; Melancholia; Poignant; Epicurean; Soliloquy; Pocket; Chlorine; Seagull; Yellow; Picturesque; Savor; Stunning; Rain; Melody; Cerulean; Auspicious; and Obsequious.

Words Have Power: It’s almost certain that if former President Grover Cleveland were sent back in time to the Upper Cretaceous, he’d rely upon his rich vocabulary to survive. (Photo by Paxsimius.)

I can’t enjoy the sounds of some of these words because I can’t liberate them from their meanings. Melancholia and Poignant just can’t fly for me.

I’d like to include “Paycheck” and “Cancer-Free.” My co-worker Hedy loves “Dawn.” J.R.R. Tolkein thought “Cellar Door” was the most beautiful because it was so simply and intrinsically pleasing.

Loretta  “Harangued” me to get this Blog posted. I really shouldn’t, but I think I’m being charmed by that word.

Which word delights you whenever you come across it?

I promise we have it here in the Fontana Regional Library System.

12 thoughts on “Where Are We Going and What Are We Doing In This Handbasket?

  1. I think “president” is one of my favorites right now. I am going to write “Luke” in on the presidential ballot for 2012. At least you are admitting there is a problem. Isn’t that the first step to recovery? I agree with you, “paycheck” is at the top of my list. Thank you for another great post, Luke!

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  2. ‘Hope’ is my favorite word, but not just because of the way it sounds.

    I cannot, by the way, liberate ‘chlorine’ from what it means. Reminds me of the time my mom found this lovely Spanish word that she found so pleasing to the ear, only to have a dear Latina friend tell her that ‘cucaracha’ means ‘cockroach’.

    Such a great blog post, Luke! Thanks for always making me smile and making me think. Sometimes simultaneously.

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  3. Yes, of course, Abby, Hope! That’s the only thing that keeps me going.

    It sounds great, too, doesn’t it? Somehow it makes my mouth and lips happy when I say it.

    Plus, I dated a girl named Hope in high school — double word score!

    And you’re right about “cucaracha.” Sweet sounding, disgusting word.

    And Loretta, are you sure your name only has one “R?” I seldom make mistakes. Check your sources and report back to me.

    “Aubergine” certainly sounds more romantic than “eggplant.” But I’m a sucker for French and British words, especially when they’re spoken by a French or English woman.

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  4. I really like this post!

    “luscious” and “quiet” and “precious” are some of my favorites. And here are some feel-good food words- Tomato; Honeydew; Butternut; Grape; Melted…

    I like the idea of looking for beautiful words… this could go on indefinitely!

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    • Love those! I’ll add some of my favorites off the top of my head: “whimsical”, “airy”, “clover”, and fun words like “serendipity”. 🙂

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      • I love your choices, Abby, Kristina, and Hedy! Especially autumn (my favorite season) and clover (now I keep humming Crimson and Clover; maybe that’s a clue!)

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  5. Here are a few of my favorites: home (where the heart is!) and autumn (not fall!) and I love the fascinating word fascinating.
    Luke – I love your blogs!
    Hedy

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