I’ve written before about how sometimes, new words are needed…. to capture an essence that’s only describable by a lengthy paragraph. It’s great to see that such words often already exist.

Here are a few:

Vemödalen: (noun) The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.

On the surface, this comes to mind when you’re at the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Niagara Falls or any other world-class tourist trap… I suppose these days it doesn’t matter; digital pictures cost nothing. But for those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember that pictures came in expensive packs of 24 or 36, it’s a different story. You used to put a lot of thought before pressing the shutter button. And once those pictures were taken, it was several days before you could see the results. As you might imagine, taking pictures of your food wasn’t really a thing. Neither was taking 150 selfies to get the perfect one. Photography is a totally different experience these days, one we take for granted. But there’s more depth to that definition, and it touches on the entire experience that ends up being encapsulated in that photograph. Especially in an aforementioned tourist trap… where we’re trying to capture something we’d hope is unique to us, but deep down you know you’re just one of the insignificant many trying to capture the same thing so many others have tried. It’s an interesting duality, trying to be unique in a sea of similarity.

Occhiolism: (noun) The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.

I’m a good example… I’m here, happy to share my thoughts, but I’m aware I have a unique point of view; it makes sense for me, and I can defend it to the death, but there are those who’ll disagree and have their own points. I can probably argue their sides too, because I often understand them; I just vehemently disagree with them. But I’m well-aware it’s my unique perspective… one that’s the result of my own life experiences… and if I were able to visualize that, perhaps snap a picture of it, no doubt I’d feel a bit of vemödalen… because there’s nothing so special about it.

Liberosis: (noun) The desire to care less about things.

Everyone has their list of what’s important and what isn’t. The tops and bottoms of those lists are easy to define, or at least… should be. Your close family, top of the list. The idiot who cut you off and caused your blood pressure to blow up and caused you to yell a profanity… near the bottom. It’s the stuff in the middle, the stuff that could go either way, that often confounds us. Maybe we end up worrying too much or wasting a lot of time on something that ultimately isn’t so important. I try to apply a rule… don’t spend more than N minutes right now on something that won’t matter in N months. Easier said than done, perhaps due to my occhiolism — and the inability to be truly objective.

Combining all three of those is a good summary of my thinking these days, as I watch the world in what could only be described as a bad movie script. The sort where the writer walks into the meeting with a potential producer, and is laughed out of the office, being told to either write something that’s truly real, or pure science-fiction/fantasy. You can’t have both. A president too narcissistic to see or care that he’s destroying the fabric of his country? A global pandemic that many people aren’t taking seriously? Come on man… why not throw in some out-of-control wildfires in Australia, a near nuclear war with Iran and, for a bit of extra seasoning and comic relief, murder hornets. Get real.

So here we are… I think like many of you, I shake my head at what I’m seeing around me and am frustrated that the people who are supposed to be responsible and in charge and making such a mess of it. It’s not a movie I’d like to see, let alone be a part of. This whole thing is certainly not playing out like a Hollywood movie; maybe one of those dark foreign films, with a lot of black-and-white cut scenes of the past, hallucinogenic, colourful dream sequences, and, of course, lots of fancy, obscure words. The whole thing sometimes adds up to a worthwhile experience. In this case though, when we’ve come to the conclusion that the movie sucks, we can’t just walk out.

One last word:

Énouement: (noun) The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.

Yeah, let’s all learn that one… you think it’s relevant now… just wait a few years. Or maybe weeks.


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