|Louie, loyal friend ... and visual aid.|
I love words, which certainly comes in handy as a writer.
We use words so much, their original meanings can get lost in their familiarity. A word then becomes simply the sound we make to stand for some object, or idea.
Every now and then a word reveals itself in a surprising way, and reminds me just where it came from.
Case in point:
One recent weekend my husband and I took Louie, our resident canine, to the dog park.
While we sat on a bench by the fence, Louie -- and every other dog there -- made the rounds, sniffing noses (along with tail ends … a ritual that always makes me glad I'm not a dog). Their exuberance and joy reminds me of kids let out for recess.
On that day one small white dog in particular attracted our Lou. He pursued, they circled and sniffed, she barked when she had enough. A few minutes later, he pursued again, they sniffed, she barked. Louie returned again and again to his would-be buddy, tail always wagging, ever hopeful.
"Ah," I said to my English-major husband, pointing toward Lou. "Dogged!"
The meaning of that word was never quite so clear.
In the '70s, one of my best friends occasionally drove an aquamarine Chevy Impala convertible. On this particular night, we were driving in Ocean City, N.J., and I was in the front passenger seat.
Back in those days, buckling up was not mandatory. Feeling young and happy, I grabbed the top of the frame and pulled myself up to standing. The sea wind smacked my face as my long hair shot straight back.
"Ahh! Wind-shield!" I said, laughing as I sat back down, amazed how I had never really thought about the word in that way before.
A lesson in literal-ity.
Stay buckled up.