Word Nerd Wednesday: The Art of the Fix

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! This month’s word story is about a lovely person named Sylvia.

Sylvia, Siv to her friends, is an easy-going woman, friendly and enjoyable to be around. She’s at a party with her friends when she sees a lady whose dress tag is flipped out, sticking out along the back of her neckline. Casually strolling over to her, Siv introduces herself and offers the lady a hug. She quietly tells her the tag is sticking out and tucks it back in for her before releasing the other woman from the hug.

Two of Siv’s friends watch the exchange, smiling at her considerate, discreet style. “So un-obvious,” says one of them. “So true to Siv.”

“Un-obvious, true to Siv” = unobtrusive (un-ub-TRU-siv), meaning inconspicuous or discreet. By quietly and covertly fixing the problem, Siv behaves unobtrusively, sparing the other woman embarrassment.

It’s a wonderful thing when one person helps another without calling attention to the problem. It’s especially beautiful to see two women helping each other in a world that loves pitting one woman against another and obsessing over any fashion misstep.

Siv doesn’t have to help the other woman in our story. After all, she doesn’t even know her. But when she sees another woman in need of help, she acts—artfully, discreetly, in a way that uplifts the other woman instead of pushing her down.

She’s a rare jewel, that Siv, and even though she’s fictional, she inspires me—to be bolder, to step up when I see a need, and most of all, to be ready to act as the discreet, problem-solving friend every person needs at some point in their lives.

Word Nerd Wednesday: Stillness

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! Today’s story is about a very special pet, one we could all learn from.

Neptune is a majestic Greyhound who lives with a lady named Rose. The long-legged creature is an excellent runner, but he would rather spend his days napping or sitting quietly, watching the world with calm eyes. Rose’s friends are confused by how chill her dog is. They want to play with him but Neptune would rather just sit. It makes them wonder if there’s something wrong with him.

“No, there’s nothing wrong with him,” Rose assures them. “He just has a quiet essence.”

“Quiet essence” = quiescence (kwee-ES-ints or kwy-ES-ints, depending on who you ask), meaning a state of quietness or inactivity. In other words, stillness. Neptune embraces quiescence with his quiet manner and ability to relax. His calm and quiescent nature is confusing to people because it’s not what they expect. They assume he’ll jump up, eager to play, but instead he’s generally more content with peace and quiet.

We could all learn a thing or two from Neptune. He doesn’t care what people think of him, how they expect him to be, and he’s happy to be still. So many humans would love to find some peace, but they don’t know what to do with it when they have it. It takes a special kind of skill and grace to be comfortable with stillness and silence, to let oneself drift, for just a moment, into a state of quiescence.

Granted, we’d all have issues if we simply lazed around all day. But a quiescent moment, that’s a beautiful gift if you’re ready to accept it.