Z is for zest

Z is for zest. What do you feel zest for?

The photograph is our small town synchronized swim team in 2007 at the Blossom, the last meet of the season that we went to that year. Our girls posed outside where it was very chilly, and all of the exited parents snapped photographs. Zest on both sides for the team and for swimming!

Webster 1913 here
Zest (?), n. F. zeste, probably fr. L. schistos split, cleft, divided, Gr. , from to split, cleave. Cf. Schism.

1. A piece of orange or lemon peel, or the aromatic oil which may be squeezed from such peel, used to give flavor to liquor, etc.

2. Hence, something that gives or enhances a pleasant taste, or the taste itself; an appetizer; also, keen enjoyment; relish; gusto.
Almighty Vanity! to thee they owe Their zest of pleasure, and their balm of woe. Young.
Liberality of disposition and conduct gives the highest zest and relish to social intercourse. Gogan.

3. The woody, thick skin inclosing the kernel of a walnut. Obs.


from Dictionary.com here:

1. keen relish; hearty enjoyment; gusto.
2. an agreeable or piquant flavor imparted to something.
3. anything added to impart flavor, enhance one’s appreciation, etc.
4. piquancy; interest; charm.
5. liveliness or energy; animating spirit.
6. the peel, especially the thin outer peel, of a citrus fruit used for flavoring:
lemon zest.

verb (used with object)
7.to give zest, relish, or piquancy to.

Zest for life, zest for writing, zest for all of the A to Z feelings that I’ve written about in the 7 sins and friends and all of the feelings that I haven’t written about. They are all part of being human! And now: zest for breakfast, I’m hungry!

Hooray for finishing and hooray for everyone who participated whether they finished or not!

Y is for yearn

Y for yearn, in 7 sins and friends. What do you yearn for? Do you ever feel yearning and if so, are you ok with that feeling?

Rumi’s and Hafiz’s poems give me permission to feel and to long. They says that all longing and yearning is praise and prayer for reunion with the Beloved.

Oh Beloved,
take me.
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.

Oh Beloved,
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.

Rumi (the rest here)

I Have Learned So Much

So much from God
That I can no longer

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.


From: ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsk, here.

There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise that
comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.

– Rumi (From here)

I took the photograph in town….

X is for xenophobic

X is for xenophobic.Have you ever felt xenophobic?

How would I know if I were xenophobic since it is an unreasonable fear or hatred? How do we tell the difference between a reasonable fear or hatred and an unreasonable fear or hatred? Or is it only other people that can tell?

From dictionary.com:


unreasonably fearful of or hating anyone or anything foreign or strange.

Origin of xenophobic
1905-1915;xenophob(ia) + -ic

Contemporary Examples

    His most ardent and xenophobic political ally, Umberto Bossi, looks all but ready to bail.
 Already Vulnerable, Berlusconi Weakened by Election Results Barbie Latza Nadeau May 30, 2011

    The committee should avoid foreign ownership questions which will make them sound parochial or xenophobic or both. 9 Questions for Rupert Geoffrey Robertson July 17, 2011

The article raises repeatedly reported statements by some opposition candidates that are “bigoted and xenophobic.”  Will Scandalous Videos Topple Georgia’s President? A Rebuttal Tedo Japaridze September 23, 2012

    We are almost certainly hard coded to be xenophobic, which is why hunter gatherers often have such extraordinary homicide rates. Racism Isn’t Natural. But I Suspect Xenophobia Is. Megan McArdle October 17, 2012

    “Unfortunately these kinds of xenophobic attacks have happened in Libya before,” says Bouckaert.   Libya’s Hysteria Over African Mercenaries Babak Dehghanpisheh March 5, 2011

    Oh, and their attitudes towards Arabs and promised land are even more insular and xenophobic than most settlers. How Yair Lapid’s Gambit Ends Bernard Avishai March 6, 2013

    I started hearing rumors about xenophobic attacks in early April. Will the World Cup Start a Riot? Gretchen L. Wilson June 9, 2010

    Meanwhile, politicians like Tom Tancredo led an ugly race to the bottom to see who could be most xenophobic.    Bush Was Right Mark McKinnon April 27, 2010

Word Origin and History for xenophobic

1912, from xenophobia + -ic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

It seems that xenophobic is something we say about other people. Not very nice of us, and judgemental.

Batman at the beach. A younger child at a party, dressing as Batman, a powerful archetype.



And he catches one of the other children.


She escapes.


Batman is on his own.


He starts to enjoy the beach.


Batman wading.


By the end of the party, he takes off the hot costume. He was comfortable enough that he didn’t have to be Batman any more.

I took the pictures in 2006.


W is for wrath

W is for wrath, the seventh sin.

From Webster 1913:


1. Violent anger; vehement exasperation; indignation; rage; fury; ire.
Wrath is a fire, and jealousy a weed. Spenser.
When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased. Esther ii. 1.
Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in. Southey.

2. The effects of anger or indignation; the just punishment of an offense or a crime.
“A revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Rom. xiii. 4.
Syn. — Anger; fury; rage; ire; vengeance; indignation; resentment; passion. See Anger.


Wrath is a sin, yet is it ever justified?

I am wrathful about this: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/23/471595323/drug-company-jacks-up-cost-of-aid-in-dying-medication

In my state a terminally ill patient may choose Death with Dignity: http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/DeathwithDignityAct

The person must be terminally ill, must not be suicidal and must go through a process. But one of the tablets prescribed, which only the person may administer to themselves, has had a price increase from $200.00 to over $3000.00.

I heard this from another physician, who has a patient who is going through the process.

I feel wrath and anger and hurt and rage that a corporation is choosing to make an enormous profit from terminally ill patients.

And so wrath may be a sin, but it is also an appropriate feeling at times.

In a sermon about forgiveness, hate is also discussed:

“Let me also say a word here about hatred, since I am speaking of forgiveness as being the release of hatred. Many  of us,  I suppose, like myself, have been taught not to hate.  We have been taught that hatred is always a bad thing and there is no place for it.  Thus, we feel uncomfortable in the face of this intense emotion and attitude.  Many times I have stumbled on the line from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes which reads, “There’s a time to love and a time to hate.”

Can there be  a time to hate?  Ironically, when  reflecting on the subject of forgiveness, I see that there is a place for hatred.
First,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you  are  feeling  diminished  and  perhaps  being stepped on and treated as no human being ought to be treated.

Secondly,  your  hatred  lets  you  know  that  you’re  fighting  back  and  that  you  have something  to  fight  back  with.    It  lets  you  know  that  the  situation  is  intolerable  and  you will not put up with it.

And  so  hatred  can  be  a  natural  and  even  necessary  response  to  situations  that  threaten human dignity.  Says one author, “Not to feel resentment when resentment is called for is a sign of servility,… a lack of self-respect.”  (Forgiveness, Haber)”

From: November 15, 2009, here: http://www.quuf.org/index.php?page=2009—2010-sermons


I took the picture in 2007. No wrath here, but three different expressions, and all complex….

V is for vegan

V is for vegan, in my alphabet of feelings.

Wait, you say, I am not vegan.

Yes, but have you ever felt vegan? Have you ever felt vegetarian? Have you felt voracious?

We are very protective of our diets. When people make a big diet change, some become food fascists for a while. They can be very vocal about the change and about how their diet is endorsed by an on line doctor or naturopath or dietician and how everyone else should try it. Not everyone. Some people are very quiet.

Vegan isn’t in Webster 1913, though everything2.com has a number of writeups under the word vegan.  The definition at Dictionary.com:

1. a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet.
2. a person who does not use any animal products, as leather or wool.

3. of or relating to vegans or their practices:  vegan shoes made of synthetic leather.

Have you ever tried being vegetarian? Vegan? Or are you firmly ensconced as an omnivore and sometimes even wish you were a carnivore…. Just for a moment, try being one that you’ve never tried. I have never tried being a vegan. What associations come up with the word and do they annoy you? Are they accurate or are they just assumptions attached to that word and that “group” of people. Maybe some vegans have no choice and not enough to eat.
My daughter is off to college soon and she plans to try being vegetarian. She says that it is partly that she just doesn’t like meat much and partly because meat is costly to raise and partly that she disapproves of eating meat… but she still likes fish and shellfish. “I will be a pescatarian,” she says, “except I may eat meat sometimes if I go to someone’s house, so that they don’t have to cook especially for me.”
My daughter got home from a three day orchestra trip and made breakfast: not vegan.

U is for ursine

U is for ursine. Have you ever felt ursine?

Ur”sine (?), a. [L. ursinus, from ursus a bear. See Ursa.]

Of or pertaining to a bear; resembling a bear.

Ursine baboon. Zool. See Chacma. — Ursine dasyure Zool., the Tasmanian devil. — Ursine howler Zool., the araguato. See Illust. under Howler. — Ursine seal. Zool. See Sea bear, and the Note under 1st Seal.

I am thinking of my sister again. My mother called me tiger and her bear. “Chris bear” was one of her names. Have you felt tigerish or ursine? We talk about a temper like a bear or hibernating when we aren’t feeling very social and then there are teddy bears and care bears and last night I saw the new Jungle Book movie.

I know the book well and loved it. I spent much less time with television. The movie is a mix of the book and the Disney version and I am considering the deviations. Sher Khan did not kill the wolf leader in the book, though he did influence some pack members. And the ending is changed and an interesting change at a time when we are afraid of the disconnect that many of us feel from nature. We are afraid that too many people and that sin of greed are destroying species and destroying the world.

And so I do feel ursine. Sometimes it feels unbearable. Sometimes I want to rear up like a grizzly bear and tear down the veneer of civilization. Sometimes I just want to sleep as deeply as a bear and dream…. dream of playing with my sister.

In my photograph, two cars have crashed in the Octoblast and one has been ejected forcibly: that is my sister bending over it…..



The legs go last

This if for photrablogger’s Mundane Monday #56…. his photograph is shadow and angles and stairs and pattern. This is my legs, on a run on Saturday, and yes, that is Princess Leia helping me to be brave about rebuilding my muscles…. the feet are not a horribly deformed rash but a pair of toe shoes for running. I like going barefoot, but my feet aren’t toughened enough and it’s cold in the mornings! Not real icy cold, but 50 and wet.

T is for tender

T for tender, in this alphabet of feelings.

Look at the Webster 1913: such a rich variety of meanings. Dictionary.com seems to have toned them down and we have lost the quotations: from the bible, from L’Estrange, from Shak: I realized, oh, Shakespeare…..

Ten”der, a. [Compar. Tenderer (?); superl. Tenderest.] [F. tendre, L. tener; probably akin to tenuis thin. See Thin.]

1. Easily impressed, broken, bruised, or injured; not firm or hard; delicate; as, tender plants; tender flesh; tender fruit.
2. Sensible to impression and pain; easily pained.
    Our bodies are not naturally more tender than our faces. L’Estrange.
3. Physically weak; not hardly or able to endure hardship; immature; effeminate.
    The tender and delicate woman among you. Deut. xxviii. 56.
4. Susceptible of the softer passions, as love, compassion, kindness; compassionate; pitiful; anxious for another’s good; easily excited to pity, forgiveness, or favor; sympathetic.
    The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James v. 11.
    I am choleric by my nature, and tender by my temper. Fuller.

When my daughter was two, my cousin visited with his wife and one year old. My daughter was delighted with this younger child and she was very tender and kind to him. On the third day I realized that she had interpreted “family” as they were now part of the family.

“Camille,” I said, “They are leaving tomorrow. They are visiting us and they have a home.”

She gave me a look of horror and then terrible disappointment. She revised the meaning of family: family doesn’t mean live together. That is how she interpreted family, which is completely understandable. I was sorry to make her so sad, but I didn’t want her to be shocked and sad the next day. She was still loving to the younger cousin and sad when they left. I apologized to her for the misunderstanding.

5. Exciting kind concern; dear; precious.
    I love Valentine, Whose life’s as tender to me as my soul! Shak.
6. Careful to save inviolate, or not to injure; — with of.
    “Tender of property.”Burke.
    The civil authority should be tender of the honor of God and religion. Tillotson.
7. Unwilling to cause pain; gentle; mild.
    You, that are thus so tender o’er his follies, Will never do him good. Shak.

What makes us feel tender? A sleeping child, a lullaby, a new baby, a very young animal, new plants or flowers…

8. Adapted to excite feeling or sympathy; expressive of the softer passions; pathetic; as, tender expressions; tender expostulations; a tender strain.
9. Apt to give pain; causing grief or pain; delicate; as, a tender subject.
“Things that are tender and unpleasing.” Bacon.
10. Naut. Heeling over too easily when under sail; — said of a vessel.

⇒ Tender is sometimes used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, tender-footed, tender-looking, tender-minded, tender-mouthed, and the like.

I bruised my daughter’s tender heart when I told her that they were leaving, but I did not want to lie to her or take her by surprise…..

S is for sloth

S is for sloth, the sixth of our seventh sins.

I took the photograph of my daughter a few weeks ago. She can’t be accused of sloth, though, because that was the day after a 12 mile mountain bike race. She came in first in the women’s 18-26 division. She also came in last, because she was the only one….

Dictionary.com at present:
1. habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
2. any of several slow-moving, arboreal, tropical American edentates of the family Bradypodidae, having a long, coarse, grayish-brown coat often of a greenish cast caused by algae, and long, hooklike claws used in gripping tree branches while hanging or moving along in a habitual upside-down position.
3. a pack or group of bears.

Webster 1913:
1. Slowness; tardiness.
These cardinals trifle with me; I abhor This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome. Shak.
2. Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.
[They] change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth. Milton.
Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears. Franklin.
3. Zool. Any one of several species of arboreal edentates constituting the family Bradypodidae, and the suborder Tardigrada. They have long exserted limbs and long prehensile claws. Both jaws are furnished with teeth (see Illust. of Edentata), and the ears and tail are rudimentary. They inhabit South and Central America and Mexico.

Just think of meeting a sloth of bears, eating blueberries, in the summer… I would not feel slothful then. And looking at the examples from Webster 1913, are we more slothful and sloppy with language than Franklin and Milton?


Sloth is a sin… but my daughter earned her rest…. and we all need to relax and rest sometimes and change our course to pleasure, ease and sloth…..

R is for ridiculous

Ridiculous. Silly. I can’t do S for silly because another of the 7 sins starts with S.

My sister and I could be so silly together. I bought the ridiculous Dr. Suess Christmas hat one year. On Christmas morning my sister wore it and then played with a Sesame Street style puppet. A monster puppet, where you could put different arms and eyebrows and eyes on for different moods. She and the puppet had a discussion about which arms the puppet would wear! And then she put all the velcro monster parts on her cashmere sweater! Ridiculous!

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malene's photo chris and silly hat chris - Copy (2)



The last photograph is my sister with her daughter, being goofy and ridiculous. My sister died in 2012 of cancer…. I hope she gets to continue to be goofy sometimes on the next plane of existence and I miss being ridiculous with her!