Friday, May 17, 2019

Frtiday Ramble - Enough

This week's word dates from before the year 900, having its origin in the Middle English enogh, and Old English genōh; both are cognate with the German genug, Gothic ganohs and  Old Norse nōgr.  The Old English geneah (it suffices) and Sanskrit naśati (reaches or reaching) are kindred words.

Roget gives us the following synonyms: abundant, adequate, ample, full, sufficient, suitable, acceptable, bountiful, comfortable, competent, complete, copious, decent, enough already, plentiful and satisfying.  Frugal and its noun form frugality are modern kindred and words I occasionally use in conversation.

Lewis Hyde's The Gift, Trickster Makes This World or Common As Air, are fine reading, and he makes good arguments for appreciating what we already have, embracing the non-commercial (or commonwealth) aspects of the creativity that is our birthright, and sharing it.

Have a look too at the works of Barry Lopez, particularly Arctic Dreams, also About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory and Horizon.

In cultivating the power of enough, we use what we have been given with grace and respect. We partake of a wild and earthy fruitfulness, a careful abundance and an ethic of universal stewardship. We walk through this world rooted and knowing our place in it - we live as the good stewards, artists and creators we were meant to be. Lewis Hyde and Barry Lopez say it a lot better than I ever could.

I say it often. We have to tread lightly on the earth and reduce our ecological footprint.  We need to whittle down our demands on a world strained almost beyond its regenerative powers by human excess, greed, cruelty and contempt.

Is the cup of our earthly days half empty or half full? It's up to us.

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