Literally Awesome

As an English major and a semi-professional peddler of words, it’s kind of embarrassing.

Although I can be a tad judgmental concerning other’s use of the English language (please, for all that is holy, it’s new-clea-er, not new-cue-ler), I am not grammar perfect.

I’m fond of the occasional ‘ain’t’, I call the tv remote, the ‘clickety’, and Petey will be happy to inform you that I regularly pronounce po-ta-to, ba-tate-uh.  And because I am a garrulous woman whose enthusiasm is usually set somewhere north of 8 out of 10, I make liberal use of the verbal crutch.

I’m not completely insufferable.  I hardly ever use “like”, “literally”, or “OK”.  But the word ”awesome” crops up in my writing and conversation way more than it should, thereby cheapening the meaning. 

Dictionary.com defines the classic meaning of awesome as, “causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear”.  Awesome’s not a coupon for a dollar off mayo, nor the fact that the shoe store has the pretty flats in size ten, nor is it the absence of a long line at the gas pumps at Costco.

So, this week, in order to pick up awesome and dust it off, I’ve decided to make a list of things that really do inspire me to awe and wonder.  This is just a partial list, because I am caught off guard and moved by many things, every day.

Animals both break my heart and teach me the meaning of nobility.  The absolute trust a dog shows and the faith it has in their people can only be described as an infinite burden of love.  There has never been a human who even came close to deserving the high opinion in which their pets hold them.

And when things go wrong, and they experience pain, they bear it with gentle, unlimited patience.  The power of their character almost brings to my knees.  Their loving generous spirit truly inspire wonder and awe.

The written word, and the way in which a book can pick me up and set me into another reality.  It’s just words.  You can find every one of them in a dictionary.  You use them to make a grocery list or write an email to your boss.  But arranged by the right person they can change one’s life.  They can inform and inspire.  They can cause you to tumble, headfirst into soul-searing grief.

Imagination.  Everything created by men and women was the fruit of creative thinking.  Everything from the art in museums, beautiful clothing and shoes, to tools, and technology all started in somebody’s noggin.  What is almost as awe inspiring is the fact that even after millennia, there is still original work being accomplished and thoughts being thunk.

Chocolate.  Yeah, I know, it’s not Shakespeare, or manned flight, or Lassie.  But think about it.  In the hands of creative humans, a plethora of delicious treats have been created.  If you have a broken heart, there’s ice cream.  It’s not a picnic without chocolate cake.  I have a stash that I keep in case vexation by humans goes beyond my tolerance.  And not much in this world says, “I was thinking of you” like a big stack of gooey, freshly baked brownies, studded with chocolate chips and topped with salted chocolate.

I wish I could promise you that I will hold awesome in higher regard and only use it in the classic, wonder-arousing sense, but I can’t.

I know the next time I’m as excited as a toddler jacked up on cotton candy and crack, and see or hear something that makes me happy, it’s gonna be awesome.

Thanks for your time.

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