Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’m sharing my thoughts and reflections on a lexicon (vocabulary specific to a certain subject) of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words. Ludic is defined as “playful, in an aimless way” and that’s my plan for approaching this challenge – keeping my feet on the joy trail and meandering wherever the daily word takes me.
W is for…
wifty (adj) – eccentric, dizzy; impractical, flighty, or unfocused First known usage 1918.
While I think there might be a hint of the pejorative in the above definition, in my ludic lexicon, I’m going with eccentric and think we all should proudly claim our wifty ways.
I’m giving a shout-out of thanks to Arti Jain for inspiring me to choose this word for my post today. (BTW, if you’re not reading her series of reflections on the Japanese concept of Ichigo Ichie, I feel obligated to insist you head over there and discover her fabulous writing and photography. I know you’ll thank me for the heads up). In any case, in her U post one of the things she said was:
”All of us got together this month (thanks to the efforts of the A to Z challenge organisers) to participate in our own unique and unequal ways at an unparalleled time in modern memory to create a unison of reading, writing, commenting, learning, encouraging, laughing, questioning and presenting a post every day despite all the challenges/disruptions and roadblocks in our day to days.”
I love Arti’s description, and I’m willing to go further and declare we’re all definitely eccentric, which is defined as “unconventional and slightly strange.” Wifty we are. All of us. Not only the blogging community, but every being on Earth.
Frankly, I love it. If you’ve hung around me, you’ll know clearly enough that I talk a lot about unity. How I believe that separation consciousness and all the myriad of ways it is and has been, foundational to the way we operate in the world is a paradigm we need to actively and whole-heartedly leave behind. We need to see the oneness of everything. But I’m never talking about some idealized version of cookie-cutter clones. Fair from it. I want us to embrace unity in diversity.
Some of my favorite people in the universe are those that are openly, wildly, deliciously eccentric and totally at peace with it and themselves. It is a gift and a blessing to be in the presence of people who are comfortable in their skins, and because of this, can be open to experiencing the world more widely. They don’t feel the need to be so defended they are rigid; they can appreciate oddities in others and be curious about why those are the “cracks that let the light in.” They don’t feel the need to rush into judgment, and more likely than not, it is precisely because they’ve felt the sting of being judged themselves and know there’s a better way.
I’ve long been curious about eccentricities. I dare say there isn’t one amongst us who hasn’t felt different; hasn’t wondered if we belong. My experience with this was as a very young child, and I suspect that’s true for everyone, although maybe not held so clearly in consciousness. But I wonder if there are two tracks available. Does one choose to become as like the perceived norm as possible and try to stomp out the oddness? Or does one innately understand both the ultimate futility of denying one’s uniqueness and comes to embrace it? I imagine we can view everyone’s life path as one that periodically jumps back and forth on these two tracks. It’s my hope though that we all settle firmly on the I’m-eccentric-and-I-embrace-it track. And my greatest wish is that we do it early on, so we have years and years and years of enjoying ourelves.
I take great delight in thinking of myself – and every other human – as an odditorium, which by definition is a place for displaying oddities. In my mind this has a strong connection to Wunderkammer and Cabinets of Curiosity.
The very first time I saw one of Joseph Cornell’s assemblage boxes it was a most wonderful experience – I was literally electrified with excitement. I thought how perfect it was in its oddness. I remember how curious it was to both glimpse the world through the eyes that saw things that way AND then the immediate accompanying thought that perhaps my eyes saw things in arrangements that no one else did as well.
I became obsessed with the concept of cabinets of wonder in their best sense – places of wonder. Places to launch journeys fueled by curiosity. Places to behold the magic of shiny mirabilia. Collections worthy of treasured cigar boxes. Worthy of being nested in strings of fairy lights. Worth of gasps of awe and giggles of amazement or just simple delight.
Isn’t it fun to think of each of us as living cabinet filled with eccentric wonders? How each of our cabinets is different. Some people embrace a minimalist esthetic, and while I can derive great joy from seeing beauty highlighted by the absence of visual “noise” around it, the truth is I’m a collector. I imagine if you’re peeking into my cabinet, you see I like gathering things that enchant me, arranging them and delighting in them. I’m not focused on hiding my eccentricites. I’m wifty and I’m proud.
What about you? Do you consider yourself wifty? Like the idea that we’re all living cabinets of curiosity? Do you have an actual place with an agglomeration of wonders (as opposed to a draw full of junk)? Share my dedication to unity in diversity? Do tell – you know I love to hear.