Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
X is for… Xanadu – gray green color
It’s the color of some of the beautiful rock carvings in the city of Xanadu (aka Shangdu). Designed in 1256 by Kublai Khan’s Chinese advisor, and immortalized by Coleridge’s famous dream-induced poem.
Coleridge called the place “a stately pleasure dome” but Xanadu is also defined as “an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place.” I mused about what my version of a pleasure dome would be, and while I might imagine a few luxe upgrades, in truth, I’m very happy with my life. And one of my most delightful pleasures is creating abecedariums, which is why I am so adamantly thrilled by the annual A-to-Z Challenge. Not only do I get to create my own abecedarium, but I get to read tons of others. How does it get better than that?
Well, maybe it gets better if I do an entire abecedarium in this post, about things I love and that give me pleasure. So here we go…
A Alchemist. – In a very concrete sense, my work as a natural perfumer and aromatherapist hold alchemical energy, but I like to think all life is about transformation and creating what’s golden.
B Bibliophile. – So many books to be devoured, never enough time.
C Chapeaux lover. I wasn’t born in the right century to make proper use of my hat passion, but I don’t let that deter me.
D Dendrophilous – fond of trees. The Sanskrit word for tree, padapa, means the one drinking with its foot. Knowing that can you ever look at a tree in the same way again?
E Epithet gatherer. I have a friend who is the best conferrer of titles in the universe, and I’m always welcoming her latest bestowal. I’m totally loving “Fanner of the Flames of Delight, Beauty and Rhythm”.
F Floriography fan. So much about this Victorian-age language of flowers delights me. With flowers and messages to decode, and did I mention flowers – what’s not to love?
G Gallimaufry creator and displayer. I fell in love at first sight with this word meaning hodgepodge. I think it’s a wonderful descriptor of what I love and what I hold.
H Hawkshaw (detective). Of course, I’m more of the armchair variety, but sprinkle some clues in front of me, and I’m the job.
I Illuminary. That’s my job description. I light the way so people can see themselves as the brilliant light beings they truly are. I may be a bit biased but I do believe I have the best job ever.
J Joyance inviter. I think one of my most important missions in life is to keep my feet on the joy trail.
K Kinkle lover. I always smile when I say that word. Kinkle means a slight kink. And I think we’re all kinkly – full of little twists that make us so delightfully unique, so deliciously eccentric, so wonderful. Here’s to all our kinkles – let’s wear them proudly!
L Logophile (lover of words).
M Moon devotee.
N Nectariferous means producing nectar. I just love the way that sounds rolling off my tongue. I stumbled upon it quite unexpectedly shortly after I created the secret code name Nectar Formation for a project I was working on. Cosmic wink anyone?
O Ordinary. I like to celebrate the everyday sacred. It’s cultivating our eyes to see what our heart already knows – that what seems ordinary is, in fact, quite extraordinary. We are surrounded by beauty and grace and fabulousity.
P Pomegranate explorer. I love pomegranates, both the fruit and the connection to Persephone. I’m deeply interested in the reclaiming of her story not as a victim, but rather as the sovereign Queen of the Underworld. Bonus points because I found a wonderful pomegranate charm, added a cluster of vintage Japanese ruby-colored beads, and created a touchstone necklace to remind me.
Q Questioner. Isn’t it good to be curious? Don’t you want to know more?
R Radicated (rooted; established). There are so many good things in my mind about being deeply rooted, and then there are the pieces that chafe, like perhaps being too immovable. I’ve been meditating on this in hopes of finding balance.
S Scribacious means given to writing. Isn’t that delightful?
T Telarian. Given that my surname means weaver, I’ve always felt a particular affinity for spiders. Telarian means web-spinner. I believe we all are telarians and wonder what webs we’re spinning and what connections we’re making.
U Ubuntu believer. A fabulous word from the Nguni speakers of Bantu in South Africa, Ubuntu, which roughly translated means human kindness. It is “often used in a more philosophical sense to mean ‘the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” In these challenging times of divisiveness, I believe we all have to do as much as we possibly can to promote Ubuntu.
V Valentine champion. One of my core beliefs is that the world needs more love letters. Lots more! And I have a soft spot for Valentines, particularly vintage ones.
.W Windlass (Circuitous movement; indirect action.) I’m a meanderer and rabbit hole explorer.
X x(oxo) distributor. More love and kisses, please; less unkindness. Shouldn’t that be our global manifesto?
Y Yin and Yang. 9 Star Ki is an Asian system of profiling based on astrological information. I’m 3.1.7, meaning I’m yang wood, water, and yin metal.
Z Zinester. I delight in creating zines (and small editions of artist books). The medium suits me perfectly – paper magic that freely allows me to express my quirkiness. What’s not to love about that?
So there you have it. And now it’s your turn. What’s your Xanadu? What’s giving you pleasure at this very moment? Ever have a creation spring from a dream as Coleridge did? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.
This very moment? Why, reading your blog, of course! I am no idealist and long ago understood Xanadu to be a place within oneself, enjoying such things as creating abecedariums (or, in my case, crochet items). YAM xx
Wishing you boundless joy in your inner Eden, Yamini, and as always, thank you for your kind words and visits.
I’m about ready to head to the nursery I love for plants – they just opened for the season today – this is my pleasure and why I still work part time at age 70. The Xanadu is an interesting color combination.
Oh, how perfect, Alana! An opening day peek at the plants is a seasonal milestone well worth celebrating.
Seeing beauty in the ordinary is such a gift. I’ve only seen epithet in a negative context so I learned something new. I adored the book “The Language of Flowers.” It was so lovely.
I liked the book also, and I think it did an excellent job of introducing, or perhaps more accurately, re-introducing the art of floral messages.
Xanadu is a great word for X. And I really love that dark rich shade of green.
It is a lovely color, isn’t it?
This is probably my favorite of your posts this month! I love the color and your abecedarium is perfect! My Xanadu is definitely my studio.
Thanks Janet! And I have no trouhle understanding your studio as your Xanadu.
Art work from a dream! https://repeatsamb.blogspot.com/2020/05/as-seen-in-my-dreams.html
Love this Anne!
A perfect phot for the letter X. Congratulations on your AtoZ Challenge being almost complete.
Thanks, Jennifer – and congrats to you as well.
Great! I love huckster especially… and I, too, love vintage valentines.
I mean, Hawkshaw!!! 🙂 Hooray!
Making me laugh, Melanie – I’m glad you weren’t suggesting I was a huckster hawkshaw.
Green is my favorite color, and this one is beautiful. Glad that X wasn’t too much of a challenge for you. I really like your theme. I will be back to read more!
These are great examples of pleasureful things, and from what I know of you from reading your blog, every one of them represents you well. What a great idea!
And I never knew that xanadu was the name for a shade of green. I learned something new! 🙂
What a lovely list! I enjoyed recognizing so many of the wonderful words and concepts you’ve shared in previous A-to-Zs.
Most of the time when I have an idea in a dream it turns out in the light of morning not to make much sense. But they can still be fun.
Alphabet of Alphabets: Xylographer MarX