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Brontide (noun) - a low muffled sound like distant thunder

Mammatus-storm-clouds

We've been having a lot of storms recently around where I live. Typically, they're not my favorite. I know that a lot of people really love storms, but I just can't seem to shake this ominous feeling that I get whenever I hear thunder start to roll in! As I was sitting in my hallway last night, where I made a little camp area out of blankets and pillows while sheets of lightning and roars of thunder surrounded my home, I thought (well, worried) what would happen if my power were to fail. I thought about the food in my refrigerator, the television shows I wouldn't be able to fall asleep to, the conversations I couldn't have with my online friends. And then, I thought about all of the things that I could do without electricity - I could read, draw, clean (although that one isn't the most fun, I could!), or just sit quietly and reflect. It's interesting to me to realize how much I think that I rely on technology, when really I don't. Sure, it's convenient and I spend a lot of my time using it, but I don't think that my life would be all that different without it. There are so many things in life that are fulfilling and worthwhile, from such a huge mix of categories, that I'm sure I could find a way to be happy no matter what my technological circumstance!

Sidereal (adjective) - of or with respect to the distant stars

Google is a wonderful thing. The sally ridecreative doodles that they post as their logo for different holidays or special occasions always peak my curiosity. Today, had she not passed, would have been Sally Ride's sixty-fourth birthday, which I never would have known if not for the search engine. For those of you who don't know, Sally was the first American woman in space, and remains the youngest American astronaut to travel amidst the stars! She passed away only a few years ago from cancer, but her desire to encourage children to study science and the stars lives on in her many accomplishments, books and her company Sally Ride Science. What an inspiring woman!

Space and the distant stars have always fascinated me. I love science fiction stories that tell of distant worlds and exploration, and I'll admit that as a child I always wanted to see with my own eyes what was really out there. It is mind-boggling to think of how much distance there is in the universe, and how impossible it is to even think that we'll ever know all there is to know about this vast place. Think of how much we're still discovering about our own planet!

orion

I love stumbling around the internet for new and compelling things, and I also love stumbling around outside and taking in the sights! Recently, I happened upon a very cool list of "untranslateable words" (that is, no direct word in English that means remotely the same thing), and one of the words on the list really caught my attention.

Komorebi (Japanese) - when sunlight filters through the trees - the interplay between the light and the leaves.

I have a great fondness and appreciation for nature, and I wish that I had more time to spend in it. There is something so entrancing about the varience in colors between dawn and dusk; the deep blues of a night sky speckled with more and more stars the farther away from the city you go; the coolness you feel in the shade of the trees that grows more prominent as you delve deeper into the wood. And yes, the sunlight that fights its way through the thick canapy of leaves is a delightful sight indeed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is mostly the sky, I think, that fascinates me so thoroughly. There is so much to be seen simply by looking up - and I think many others share this captivation with me. I catch myself nearly missing interstate exits just because I'm staring at the clouds. On nights (and days) when the moon is visible, I try my best to photograph it, but the pictures never really live up to my original perception. I wish my camera could capture exactly as my eyes see - I would be interested to know if anyone else sees precisely as I do (I'm sure that we all see a little differently, knowing that colorblindness exists).

moon-in-the-night-sky

Velleity (noun) - a wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action

Life seems to be full of "what ifs" for me. Some of the most regrettable decisions I've ever made have been because I simply didn't make a decision at all. I sit and watch the world go by, I see opportunities come and go and rarely do anything to stop what seems to me to be the natural course of things. Sure, I certainly wish that things would go a different way sometimes, but I can't muster up the strength of will to change the outcome myself.

doris day
The lovely Doris Day

What was that song Doris Day sang? Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. It really is a lovely song, and a nice sentiment, but I do worry occasionally that this mindset could be damaging to my future. The friendships that I've let slip through my fingers simply because I didn't want to impose myself on anyone, and the relationships that could have been if I'd only spoken up about how I truly felt.

I suppose there's a fine line between believing that everything happens for a reason and actively refusing to make anything happen for yourself. It's definitely something that I should strive to ameliorate - to begin to step away from velleity and grow stronger in, and less afraid of, my own volition.

As with any self improvement venture, I firmly believe in baby steps. Doing too much at once can be absolutely overwhelming! Sharing some of my feelings on the subject has certainly improved my overall mood, and that is a great start, wouldn't you say?

Petrichor - the smell of earth after rain

Summer is fast approaching and the weather is turning unbearably hot again (for me, at least). Although there are things that I enjoy about all four seasons, fall and winter are probably dearest to me because of the cooler temperatures and my personal preference for constantly wearing multiple layers of clothing and nesting in blankets galore. I don't do well in the sweltering heat, and although the weather where I live doesn't hit extremes too often, it's very unpredictable and can really catch me off guard when, for example, yesterday was 72 degrees and overcast and today is 92 degrees without a cloud in the sky. You simply can't prepare for the weather here.

After it's been warm, or hot, and dry for days, there is nothing quite so satisfying as rainfall. As the cool water drips from the sky, steam begins to rise from pavement, and a scent rises from the ground. It smells like much needed nourishment, like relief, like the earth. The aroma that rises from dirt after the rain is known as Petrichor - the ethereal essence from the stones that form the surface of the earth. Language is such a beautiful thing, yes?

raindrops

Anamnesis (noun) - a recalling to mind; reminiscence

Do you ever have weird moments, when listening to a song or watching a movie, where you can recall something so clearly from the past? This has been happening to me a lot recently, and I think it's amazing. I did a little research into senses being tied to memories, and what I found truly fascinated me! Smells especially hold a powerful ability to make us recall memories, and it seems like we tend to remember the very first time we caught a certain scent, so a lot of these memories will reach back to our childhoods.

super mario bros 3The smell of sugar cookies makes me think of playing Super Mario Bros 3 with my brother on our Nintendo. I remember distinctly sitting next to him on the floor in our den, with a tray of bunny-shaped cookies from Ukrops, taking turns going through the levels together as Mario and Luigi on an epic quest to save Princess Peach! Even at an early age, we knew how to find the Warp Whistle to skip between worlds. It is so much fun thinking back to our gaming sessions, and even more fun when my family dusts off the NES around the holidays for some old-fashioned fun!

Another strange sensation I've gotten happened recently while I was watching a movie from the 90s. It's a bit difficult to explain, but I'll try. You know how, in older movies, there will be sound effects for people's shoes tapping the ground as they walk, or doors squeaking open? You can tell that these sounds weren't organic during actual filming, but they were added later to sort of... enhance the audio. They're called "foley" sound effects. For whatever reason, hearing those sound effects transported me back to the first time I saw the film (which was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, by the way. Radical!), and I could almost instantly recall the entire script without having watched the movie in years. Such a bizarre feeling!

Music is another thing that seems to be psychtied very strongly to memories for me. I tend to associate songs that I hear with television or movie scenes, particularly if the song itself was in the scene. For example, every time I hear "Eight Days a Week" by The Beatles, I instantly think of the chase scene in the caveman episode of Scooby Doo. Whenever I hear "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe, I see Dr. Turk from Scrubs trying out for an airband. And whenever I hear anything by Tear for Fears, Shawn and Gus from Psych start dancing around in my head.

It is so fascinating how our minds hold on to different memories, and how they recall them at the most random moments! I love reliving these little bits from my past, and I hope to add many more memories that I can recall in the future!