Saturday, April 30, 2016

in which a single word generates a stream of unusual consciousness

Confession. There is a group of bloggers who have committed to resuming the art of writing a blog. For myself, facebook is one of the culprits responsible for my slack, but other factors contributed to my absence from these pages. To help us renew the habit, one of our group offers a prompt on Saturday morning to help get thoughts and writing juices flowing.

Today's prompt is one word: falling. I'm going to go for the free"fall" and do a little word association with this, like a round of "fast money" on Family Feud. It might go something like this: "Name a word or phrase that begins with the word 'Falling.'"

falling in love
falling fast
falling in line
falling apart
falling together
falling short
falling through
falling asleep
falling behind
falling down
falling silent
falling temperatures
falling snow
falling rain

...and I'm sure there are more. Here's the thing. It took me reading down this list a few times before it struck me like a head slap that falling is an active verb. When I first read the word in the prompt my initial thought was of falling down, like a toddler who is working to master the upright position on all twos. Said child might lose his or her balance and teeter a bit before taking a big ol' plop onto the floor. Like the children's song claims, "we all fall down!"

Most of the time, we all get up, too. Sometimes we jump right up and brush off the ol' behunkus and carry on. Other times it may take several moments to consider how we ended up in the down position before getting reoriented and back on our feet. At still other times we are laid out, unable to move for fear that what knocked us down is ready and waiting for another opportunity for an instant replay. And perhaps most debilitating of all are those times when we are so exhausted that when we find ourselves down we have no energy to get ourselves up again. This falling down and getting back up stuff can definitely wear you out. Heck, Brené Brown wrote an entire book on the subject, Rising Strong. Highly recommended.

I don't want to dwell on the falling down action, however. I really like some of the other pairings with the word, like falling together, falling asleep, and falling snow. There are implications of unity, rest, and quiet beauty held in those words, and collectively they suggest a kind of peacefulness that stands in contrast to the more disruptive action of falling down. Can't you just see the gentle swirling of stardust and the hint of harp strings reverberating just a wee bit away? I'll take some of that kind of falling any day.

And then, of course, there is falling in love. Explosive action, that! Gobsmacked, grab your heart by the seat of its luxurious palpitations, take your breath away, transforming love. It can happen so slowly as to tip the scale of your existence when you least expect it, or pull the rug out from under your carefully planned five-year plan. However it comes for you, there's no escaping the life-altering shebang that is love of the falling variety. No siree-bob. Whew!

Which way are you falling today? In? Out? Here? There? Gently? Cataclysmically? 

Tell us all!


The Bug said...

Love this post! Today, after being at a church conference about energizing our congregations, I'm falling asleep. The whole concept exhausts me. I either need a break, or some whippersnapper needs to step up to the plate!

KGMom said...

I am still contemplating what I want to write in response to the prompt. But, suffice it to say, you hit all the word associations I had in mind. Except maybe "falling from grace".

I look forward to your continuing contributions. Now, I need to go think up another tough prompt. You nailed this one so quickly.

Ruth said...

Great writing. I like how you brought out the positives "unity, rest, and quiet beauty". English must be a very challenging second language to learn if one word can produce so many idioms.

Jayne said...

Boy, I've been turning this one over in my mind since Donna posted it yesterday, trying to figure out which direction to go towards. I love all your suggestions in considering this word. I'll continue to ruminate, though one particular aspect has finally come to me this morning.

Anvilcloud said...

You certainly explored the word and the concept very well, which kind of hilites my lack of creative, lateral thinking.

Unknown said...

Love this!


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