The first thing my husband ever wrote to me on my Facebook wall, in our first direct conversation outside the writing group where we met was one word: Coolness!
I had noticed that he was using this word on almost every post as a sort of punctuation and I was curious about it. Is he trying to be something, do something, say something? Is he a complete nerd (not that there’s anything wrong with that-I’m a nerd)? Is this cool or something else?
I asked him about this word early on and his response was something like he was just enjoying introducing it in to lexicon. I remembered, and shared, that this was a word my sister used frequently in the 80’s.
When you get married people are so creative, clever and generous in how they celebrate it with you. One of those people, Pam, who you may remember gifted me with this super cool encased dandelion that is still glued to my dashboard, was no exception.
Pam showed up at my office one day and casually handed me an envelope with a wedding gift in it. To my astonishment, this is what I unfolded.
Those may look like abstract letters to you but in reality they are extreme close up photos of designs within real butterfly wings. How freaking cool is that? The artist extracts letters from those images and you can make whatever word you choose. Pam, clearly, pays attention to John and I.
I brought them to Pennsylvania on this last trip and we both decided this piece of art needed to reside in our home there.
I asked John to take some photos of this glorious work of art– now in his creative den space– to share and then decided the best way to understand what this word means to him is to interview him about it. Which is exactly what I did last night.
I’ll share it with you now.
Do you have a few moments for me to ask you some questions about something?
Ok cool. In fact, that is what I’m interested in asking you about actually. This word “coolness” that you are so fond of using.
lol Ok well do you remember when you first introduced this word in to your lexicon?
I would say probably sometime last year.
Might have been a tad bit longer than that.
Was there something in particular that sparked the interest in this word?
I’ve always liked the word “cool” though it’s been overused.
I started using the word online in FB messages.
As a response to others’ posts.
Do you remember the very first time you used it?
Had you used this term before, like in earlier years?
At least, not that I can recall.
Do you remember how this word first came in to your mind?
ie did it seem like a new word to you?
No, except that I was probably groovin’ on something that someone posted and it just came out.
Can’t say that it seemed like a new word. I’ve made up other words previously during creative episodes, but it really resonated with me.
do you remember how that felt?
ok good! Can you describe how that feels to you?
like what is the feeling tone associated with that word when you use it?
Ok, now I know what you are asking.
Kind of hard to describe feelings but you’re a writer so I have confidence you can. wink emoticon
Coolness, like I think I riffed to you in one of our fb exchanges, is the way a snowflake feels on skin that is out in the hot summer sun: it is invigorating without being disturbing. It pulls my awareness in a direction toward refreshment and here and now sharpness while transcending all other aspects of consciousness.
It melts into consciousness without stinging or being otherwise perturbing
Let me ask you this–do you feel differently when you use it vs. when you see other people using it back to you?
(I intend to quote you, that’s why I’m doing this! lol)
I’m flattered when people use it! Language is a dynamic process shaped by those who use it.
As (if) a word or phrase is used by others, the meaning will certainly evolve: it’s all good.
Do you hope that this word gets introduced in to the greater Lexicon?
lol. Is there anything else you’d like to add related to this word, it’s impact in your world or anything else related to it?
Yes, it does reflect the consciousness of where I was at in my life at the time it sprang from my mind. I had (as you well know) transcended numerous aspects of my life (particularly relationships and my need to rescue and be the perfect partner) and lacked a way to not only state my comfort with this new place but also lacked a way to remind myself that I didn’t need to be perfect, didn’t need to fix and could find the beauty in what/who was on my path.
And the birth of “coolness” represents this transition for you?
Transcendence in a very real way.
Coolness! Anything else you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
(my husband then started to go down a small rabbit hole about his dating life post divorce/before me that I decided to veto for my blog because, that’s how I roll so this is where the interview ends 😉 He said, of course “coolness” about that decision. I also recommend this interview ambush on someone you love–it’s very fun! ).
So feel free to use or not use this word but now may you read it with the feeling of snowflakes on your skin on a hot summer day. 🙂
And we both say “thank you Pam!” who I know is out there reading. 😀