Archive for December 11th, 2008

Here’s to “H”—a meme!

Posted on December 11, 2008. Filed under: Games, Musings, Philosophy |

I took up the challenge of thebeadden, who’d had it from joanharvest. It is a meme, but it’s different in that it’s an “opt-in” meme. I didn’t have to name five other bloggers and risk their annoyance, or just post a generic “idon’twanttobotheryoubutifyou’dliketodoamemei’dreallylikethat!” No, this meme is for the brave and hardy soul, who is willing to tell me they WANT a letter! I know a couple of you will step up to the plate! Don’t leave this a “one-letter-blog”! thankyouforyourattention.

RULES: “You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

You can leave a comment and not be assigned a letter if you want.  Just let me know if you want a letter to keep this going.”

thebeadden assigned me the letter “H“! She assured me “H” is very special, and it is. Please bear with me as I etymologically explore some H-things I love:

1.  HOLIDAY –  Middle English holidai, holy day, from Old English hālig dæg : hālig, holy. The word is a combination of “holy” and “day”, but you knew that, didn’t you? One of the definitions is is “to suspend usual activities“. I think we all need to do that from time to time, in order to be appreciative, and re-charge our batteries. I try to remember the “holy” in “holiday” even when not in a spiritual context: from Middle English: preserved whole or intact.   This puts me in mind of a thought I like to cultivate: “Every day is a holy day” if we do take time each day to be in appreciation, to “suspend our usual activities.” The song Everything is Holy Now reflects some of my spiritual evolution. I heard the songwriter in concert, and was deeply moved.

2.  HAPPINESS –  “good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.”  —Does it get any better than that? 🙂 Middle English, from hap, luck.

3.  HIDDEN –  to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered; from the Greek, keúthein to conceal. But there is a deeper meaning, which explains its inclusion on this list: “To seek refuge.” We all need a place, whether physical, or within our own minds, hidden from others, where we feel safe and able to contemplate.

4.  HOLISTIC –  Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.  This term is so often used in relation to medicine, or health practices, but it applies to many things in life. from the Greek, holos “whole”

5.  HARK –  listen; used mostly in the imperative; Middle English harken, herken, from Old English heorcian, to hear. This time of year, it’s nearly impossible to hear or read the word “hark” without completing “…the herald angels sing…” But, in addition to the popular song, I can always use a reminder to listen, attentively “in the imperative”. It bodes well for understanding.

6.  HEAVENLY –  There are many definitions for the word “heaven”, but when I think of “heavenly” it is of the epitome of a thing. I don’t use the term lightly. If I describe a thing as “heavenly” it is the best of the best; it surrounds one with love; it cradles in comfort.   “Appropriate to heaven in character or happiness; perfect; pure; supremely blessed” Old English heofon “home of God, from Germanic gaham; to put on, clothe one’s self”

7.  HAIR –  I like my hair. I have a lot of it. I can hide behind it, or be enhanced by it. German haar “hair”), from ker(s)- “to bristle”

8.  HERE –  One of the most influential spiritual books, ever: Be Here Now, by Ram Dass. I’ve heard him speak many times (lucky me). He demonstrates through his life that “here” is the only place there is, and “now” the only time. Middle English, from Old English hēr; “in this place, where one puts himself”

9.  HAVING –  Having is the state of relationship with physical matter. It can also be used to describe conditions or emotions, such as “having a wonderful day”, but there is a temporal sense to it which speaks to me of interaction with this wonderful earth (and any other heavenly body I may yet roam).  Old English haban “to have”, from kap- “to grasp”

10.  HURRY –  I’m not sure why this one came up; I’m usually trying not to hurry. I used stream-of-consciousness thinking for this meme, though, and just wrote down the first ten “H” words that came to mind. But, when I looked up the source I found this, and sort of liked it: “1590, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often, perhaps a W.Midlands sense of M.E. hurren “to vibrate rapidly, buzz,” from P.Gmc. *khurza “to move with haste” (cf. M.H.G. hurren “to whir, move fast,” O.Swed. hurra “to whirl round”), which also perhaps is the root of hurl. The noun is 1600, from the verb.”from Online Etymology Dictionary

Well, there you have it. I must be in a reflective mood, because nearly everything I chose has a contemplative, meditative quality, and as a matter of fact, most of them are qualities rather than things. So be it! Peace to all. 🙂

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