Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inside the Mind of a Bridesmaid

This past weekend I had the honor of standing up as a bridesmaid as my friend Bethany pledged her constant faith and abiding love to her new husband, Nate. (Congrats, friends!) As I stood there at the front of the church, off to the side, to bear witness to the event, my mind was a flurry of varied thoughts:
- she's such a beautiful bride
- don't lock your knees, Suzanne! bend, bend!
- these flowers smell good
- my feet hurt
- oh, just look at the love beaming from his face!
- her veil is gorgeous
- i like that music
- i wonder what comes next
- i should have read over the program more carefully
- awww, look how happy they are!
- ooh, i really like how that was worded
- in a little over 5 months it's going to be me saying my vows - wow!
- why am i crying right now?
- why didn't i bring a tissue up here?
- i like that element a lot - have to remember that
- yay! i'm so happy for them
- i need to remember to ask bethany about that
- i get to dance with my fiance tonight - whoo hoo!
- i wonder if i'll cry when i'm at the altar
- i'm hungry. why didn't i eat more at lunch?
- hee hee, that was funny
- how can i subtly shift my feet without falling off this step?
- marriage is amazing. i don't know how anyone can enter into it lightly.

Yes, there are a lot of thoughts that crowd for attention inside the mind of a bridesmaid, most of them fleeting. The thoughts and impressions that linger this time around have to do with how sacred and mysterious and incredible marriage is, and what a HUGE deal it is that in a little over 5 months, I will be the one exchanging vows with Travis and entering into a covenant that will bind us together for life. I've always loved weddings, but with my own on the horizon, I find myself impacted by not only the joy but also the weightiness of the occasion.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Food for Thought

"Real love always heals fear and neutralizes egotism, and so, as love grows up in us, we shall worry about ourselves less and less, and admire and delight in God his His other children more and more, and this is the secret of joy." - Evelyn Underhill

Monday, April 13, 2009

Run for the Border. Sing When You Get There.

Here's something to make you smile on a cold and rainy Monday (at least here in Chicagoland).

Sonicky...and not so sonicky.

Over the past couple months I've been slowly working my way through Roy Blount's Alphabet Juice, which indisputably has the longest subtitle of any book on my shelf: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof: Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences: With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. The book is basically a glossary of words and phrases, with (mostly) brief quips about their origin and usage.

Blount takes issue with the idea that the sound of words is arbitrary and separated from their meaning. Rather, he contends that humans have an innate sense to detect when a word is particularly appropriate to the thing it signifies. He describes a word with that quality as "sonicky."

So, with that in the back of my mind, I was struck by the difference between the two words that appear on my Yahoo home page today in my Word of the Day widget. Today's Word of the Day is "susurrus," a noun defined as "a whispering or rustling sound; a murmur." Say the word [su-SUHR-uhs] and listen to how it sounds...doesn't it SOUND like what it means? That, Blount would proclaim, is a sonicky word.

Meanwhile, yesterday's word is about as un-sonicky as you can get. Pulchritude. If this word is new to you, what would you think it means, based on how it sounds?

This noun's meaning (are you ready for this?) is "that quality of appearance which pleases the eye; beauty; comeliness; grace; loveliness."

Let's use it in a sentence, shall we?

As he gazed upon his wife, he was overcome by the pulchritude of her countenance.

Even though you know what the word means, it just doesn't sound like a good thing, does it? It sounds like something that would make a person puke, not something upon which one's eyes would feast.

And that, my friends, is why words are fascinating to me.

What's your favorite sonicky or unsonicky word?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Food for Thought

"Too many people spend their entire marriages trying to conform their spouses into their image rather than allowing God to conform their spouses into His image."
- Michael Sytsma, in Saving Grace

Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Digs!

I have exciting news to share! After months of scouring Craigslist, making phone calls, and visiting apartments and condos that just weren't right (ever felt like Goldilocks?), Travis and I have found the place we will call home. I'll be moving in the first of May, and Travis will join me in October after we're married.

The apartment has just about everything we were looking for and more, at a remarkable price. We'll have a kitchen, dining room, living room, a huge master bedroom, a guest room, a den, and an office. Plus there are two full bathrooms (one complete with retro 70's yellow-gold tub, toilet, and vanity and metallic wallpaper) and a walk-in pantry. So much space it's crazy. It's in an old building (constructed in 1898) above a store front, so the space has lots of character, a few quirks (like "windows" with walls behind them), and not a level line to be found anywhere (the entryway stairwell slants so bad it looks like something out of the Twilight Zone when things start to go all wonky). I am eager to move in and start "nesting!" In fact, some nights, before I drift off to sleep, I lay there and think about furniture arrangements, and what I'll put in each closet, and how I can organize this, or decorate that...

I am also excited about exploring my new village and neighborhood and discovering all it has to offer. I've learned that every Saturday from June through October there's a farmers market just a few blocks from our place that has local vendors, fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, donuts and coffee, and live music. With my typically busy schedule, wedding planning, and quite a few weekends away, I don't know how often I'll actually have a leisurely Saturday morning where I can stroll to the market, browse the goods, enjoy a donut, and meet my neighbors, but I sure like the IDEA of it. :)