Thursday, May 12, 2016

What Does The Word Mean - Part VIII

This is my eighth post sharing my thoughts and pictures inspired by David Whyte's book Consolations: the solace, nourishment and underlying meaning of everyday words. Since I've written an introduction paragraph for this project seven times, I can find nothing new to say. Since words escape me, I'll quote from my last blog post, "We read his thoughts on a word, form our own opinions, and then take or find a picture to illustrate the word."  That's it in a nutshell! So, here's the next five words.

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The dictionary defines robustness as: "strong and healthy, successful or impressive and not likely to fail or weaken." In order that we keep our robust health we must find time to revitalize ourselves. We need to find the calm in the storms of life.

"Robustness strangely, demands we find a calm center in the midst of tumult. The quiet is what enables us to be cheerful in noise, equitable in the face of injustice or calm in the face of attack."   ~ David Whyte

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There have been times in my life when I wish I could detach myself from what is happening around me and just runaway for a awhile. I would like to find a lovely sailboat and set sail with no destination in mind. I would like to feel the sun, see the drifting clouds, smell the salt water, and let the breeze blow my troubles away. Of course, when I have found the peace that restores me, I will sail right back home!

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I wish I had the key to fully know myself or even partially understand myself, but try as I might there are parts of me that remain a mystery.

"Sometime in your life you will go on a journey.
It will be longest journey you have ever taken.
It is the journey to find yourself."
Katherine Sharp

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The shadow we cast upon others is a pattern of who we are. I try very had to be a positive person. To cast a shadow of encouragement, inspiration, cheerfulness, gladness, and hope.

"Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls,
our influence is determined by the quality of our being."
Dale Turner

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David Wythe says "to feel shy is to look five ways at once: to the beckoning new life in front of us, to the line of retreat behind us, to alternative possibilities of escape to left and right, and in really difficult circumstances the hope for a complete and sudden disappearance." Oh yes, I've wanted to retreat, to escape, and just disappear many times rather than going forward into a situation that made me nervous or uncomfortable, even fearful.

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There are many kinds of silence. The Cambridge Dictionary defines silence "as a period without any sound: complete quiet." That kind of silence is fearful to me. I would not like complete quiet where I couldn't hear the words of a loved one, the ringing of a bell, the twitter of birds, the wind rustling through leaves, and the water babbling in a brook. I don't yearn for silence, although I do yearn for quietness and stillness.

This project of words and pictures is coming to an end. We have six more words; one more post. I need to begin searching for my next project as they keep me inspired to pick up my camera.

Until next time,
keep on reading and learning!


  1. I have loved reading every one of these posts. When I think of robust I think of pasta with a robust Italian sauce. I have always had a runway plan, almost used it once. I enjoy silence in small doses, especially after the family has all been home all weekend.

  2. It's always interesting to reread your interpretations of our word study here, Cathy! I was interested to read how you feel about silence and that bell is so expressive of these thoughts.
    I hope you have a beautiful weekend and that the weather will be warm, but not too much!

  3. Such a fun play on words every time you peek my interest. Love the shadow of the leaf on the path, wonderful study of shadows.

  4. You always make me think outside the box. Thanks for sharing.

  5. A great way to look at defining words! Something that looks really fun to do!

  6. Another great post for this project. Several of these caught my eye. The one for Runaway, Shadow & Shyness.


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