Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with throwing open the cabinet of curiosities and wondrous things I call my brain and leading you on a tour of what actually resides in there – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
Z is for..
zaduma (noun) – reverie; pensiveness; a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing.
Over the course of this challenge I’ve shared some of my favorite words, many obscure, some obsolete; but it seems every year I learn a word or two from a language I don’t speak, that really fits into my heart like an old friend. Zaduma is that word for me currently.
I’m wondering how many other folks who have been playing in this month’s challenge recognize this state of zaduma at this time. For me it’s been a fun month, but far more busy than I expected with outside pulls on my attention, and I’m a bit reluctant to let go of the things as there are still so many blogs I haven’t had a chance to visit yet.
I was thinking about that when I woke up early this morning. To a misty cloudy dawn that not too much later turned into the stormy raining day that promises to stretch out into a stormy rainy week.
But before the rain came, I sat watching the clouds. It’s no secret I’m utterly enchanted by clouds. My heart loves them fiercely, and yet it’s hard to wrap my mind around them. That’s the beauty of the ephemeral for me I suppose. Science can explain particular types of clouds, but I always think of them as some peculiar shape-shifting tribe of ethereal magic. And for me, clouds can be such a helpful reminder of how energy moves; how things shift; how not to hold on so tightly; how powerful it can be to dance lightly.
I always smile at this Mark Twain quote:
“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be – it is the same the angels breathe.”
I look at clouds and think about mythology and creation stories. I like imagining the Nephelai, who were considered by the Greeks to be the cloud nymphs who arose from the Earth, encompassing River Okeanos, bearing water to the heavens in cloudy pitchers.
I think about the charming tale that suggests elephants once had wings and flew amidst the clouds. One elephant, tiring after a long flight, decided to rest a bit by landing in a large, very old banyan tree. But alas the tree couldn’t support his hefty weight, and the branch he landed on cracked and fell upon a meditating yogi sitting under the tree. The man lost his temper and cursed away the wings of all elephants, who henceforth had to resort to walking.
Sitting watching the clouds, I thought about how one of the things my guidance is continuously urging me to do is find the spaciousness around things. To be clear this doesn’t really have anything to do with doing less, but rather allowing for a buffer of grace around things. I know, even as I write it, it’s not a concept that lends itself to clear written explanation. Like so many things you have to feel into it, and that’s always best done in our times of musing isn’t it?
My times of reverie are important to me, and at the same time they feel like such an integral part of me that I can’t separate them from my way of being. If I think of myself I see how lean into things in the manner of the circuitous dance of a crab on the beach – I approach things sideways.
So sitting on the porch this morning, sipping my Sleeping Dragon Cloud tea, I thought about clouds. About tea grown at great elevations in the Himalayas amid the clouds and mists. About how clouds are in this huge container of the sky, moving along, shifting easily, joining forces with other clouds, then breaking off and meandering on their own, creating wondrous images that last for a limited time and then are gone, but the possibility of other wondrous creations are there in every second.
And there it was. I decided being a cloud was a helpful metaphor and something I’m going to play around with as I look for some spaciousness as we move on from this month-long challenge into other projects.
My thanks to everyone who has stopped by, whether once or faithfully or any permutation between, for listening as I’ve given you a peek into my brain and the cabinet of wonders stored in there.
Now tell me about you. How are you feeling? Do you love the word zaduma? Are you a card-carrying member of the Cloud Appreciation Society? Ever had cloud tea? Do tell – you know Iove to hear.
Congrats on finishing the challenge.
I’ve never heard the story of elephants with wings. The idea of such, a la flying pigs, charms me. And makes me wonder how many elephants it’d take to fly across the sky to make the sky so dark as to blot out the clouds. My mind goes in some odd directions…
I enjoy the directions your mind goes Ally. And how fun it would be to see a sky full of flying elephants! Truth told, I’d love to see even one. 🙂
In the clouds, On cloud nine. That’s where the head would like to be but sadly, like that elephant, it sat on a banyan once and lost its place there. But, to be honest, the earth is not so bad to walk either.
Congrats on another A-Z completed! You’ve entertained and educated with your usual charm, wit and erudition. I’ve enjoyed each post I read. Thank you!
I’m glad to be on this earth walk – it’s not so bad indeed 🙂
Thank you for your kind words – this has been a fun challenge for me, and I hope for you as well.
I do love watching clouds. I’ve never seen a flying elephant (obviously, since they lost their wings), but I do have photos of a flying camel. It was exactly like a camel!
I have to say, I’m a bit sorry April is done. I know I can continue to post daily, but I won’t. Post, yes, but not daily!
Thanks for all the wonderful words.
Lucky you – a flying camel is a sight to behold for sure! I’m a bit sorry about the challenge being over as well Lisa – I can hardly believe how quickly the month went by.
Clouds are changeable and magical; they bring rain, snow, and hail and can be thick, or wispy, gray, white or black. I love their variety and their shapes. They remind me to look up and not just down. I’ve very much enjoyed your challenge and the thought provoking and beautiful posts you’ve crafted. Many thanks!
Thank you Margaret. And I love your reminder that clouds ask us to look up. I think that’s something we need to collectively practice much more.
I have been appreciating the Cloud Appreciation Society ever since you first told us about it 😀 And yes, today’s word is a good one to finish the challenge on. Congratulations! I’m happy you participated again this year 🙂
The Multicolored Diary
There can never be too much appreciating of the clouds – I’m so glad you’re on board too.
Another great word, Deborah, and one I can easily relate to! I can remember as a child laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds, finding different shapes. As with a lot of those fanciful musing activities, life gets in the way. Now that things are slowing down a bit, cloud watching has been a more frequent occurrence for me. Congrats on finishing the A to Z! Thanks for visiting me too!
I’m glad you’re finding more time for cloud watching Janet – and perhaps you’ll be able to fit in a bit every day as you head out back to your new studio space. 🙂
Congratulations on finishing the Challenge!
I was never one for watching clouds. I do enjoy listening to rain, though.
LIstening to rain is another favorite of mine too, John – and likely to induce a state of zuduma for me as well.
Thanks for stopping by and your encouragement during the challenge – I had another wonderful year playing.
Well. the clouds and the rain, the sun, the stars: they are all amazing. Just miraculous that we can sit here and experience a world that supports life. Wow. (and chocolate)
Thanks for sharing this month. I’ve enjoyed.
Miraculous and fabulous indeed Beth! And yes to the chocolate. 🙂
Zaduma is a lovely word. I’m sorry about the elephants though, and it seems to me that the yogi still needed a lot of work on his inner peace, but now I am humming, “I done seen bout everything, when I see an elephant fly…” =)
Congratulations on reaching Z!
Black and White: Z is for Ziz
Uh-oh, planting an ear worm are you? Successfully I might add. 🙂
And I have to agree, I think the yogi had quite a bit of work to do.
I’ve enjoyed your posts in the a to z challenge. And Zaduma is indeed a lovely word. I love clouds, also. A few years back, I visited the cloud forest in Costa Rica–we were so high up that we were actually inside the clouds. And now I live near the mountains and watch the clouds rolling in over them. Sometimes I can see storms over the mountains or rolling toward me. I love cloud watching.
Oh Susan – how wonderful on all counts!
Congratulations on completing the challenge with a great word and on a high note!
I like the metaphor… about cloud and its shifting energy and its comparison with our daily lives.
I enjoy cloud watching and in childhood we used to play a game where we used to name the shapes of the cloud – animal or object or anything fancy!!
Thanks Deborah for wonderful posts in your series😇
I love knowing that children (and adults) across the world look at clouds, play that game, and are stretching both their imaginations and their connections to this beautiful world of ours.
It was a delight sharing this challenge month with you Kislaya.
Deborah ~ With today being International Workers’ Day, your musings on ” . . . tea grown at great elevations in the Himalayas amid the clouds and mists” take on additional layers of meaning.
The truth of things can be pretty terrible sometimes. That said, none of us can make informed decisions if we don’t know.
“What every exquisite cup of tea fails to narrate is the plight and agony of those workers who have been heavily exploited and marginalized for generations. Beyond the romanticised notions of the beautiful hills and tea estates, the “the two leaves and a bud”, and the “cheerful faces of its people”, what remains invisible is the ugly truth of sub-human wages and living conditions, denial of basic rights of workers, more than a thousand starvation deaths and seething anger”:
Here’s another excerpt and link, also very informative:
“Worldwide, an estimated 46 million people are forced to work as slaves. Unfortunately, together with coffee, sugar and cocoa, tea plantations are one of the products with the highest chance of slavery being involved.
There are several reasons for that. The first is that many tea pickers in India, Brazil and in most African countries earn so little that they easily become indebted. This leads to a cycle of indebtedness that forces workers to continue working on the plantation and often leads to oppressive conditions where workers aren’t allowed to leave and kept there by force. Every year, hundreds of workers die of starvation as they simply can’t afford more food and are unable to flee the plantation”:
Chocolate is terrible too, along with lots of other goodies. Thought you’d want to know. Take care.:)
Thank you for sharing this LB.
Hi Deborah – I’ve loved seeing your posts pop up … and enjoyed the tour through your lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words. I’ll be back to read through the others.
But Zaduma is absolutely the right word for Z … ending your A-Z … excellent idea – loved it … cheers Hilary