Friday, May 06, 2022

Friday Ramble - Enough Already

This week's word dates from well before the year 900, having its origin in the Middle English enogh, and Old English genōh. Both forms are cognate with the German genug, Gothic ganohs and  Old Norse nōgr, all meaning reached or sufficient. The Old English form geneah (it suffices) and Sanskrit naśati (reaches or reaching) are kindred words. At the end of this week's wordy explorations are the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) forms *h₂eh₂nóḱe (has reached, attained) and h₂neḱ (to reach).

Roget gives us other words for the same thing, or nearly the same thing: abundant, adequate, ample, full, sufficient, suitable, acceptable, bountiful, comfortable, competent, complete, copious, decent, enough already, plentiful and satisfying.  Frugal and frugality are modern kin, and one of these days, they will turn up in a wordy ramble.

In The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the WorldLewis Hyde makes good arguments for embracing the commonwealth aspects of our existence and sharing them freely, drawing upon the values espoused by old gift giving cultures and their relation to art and community. His focus is on imagination, creativity and intellectual property, but there are insights relevant to the pandemic times that have turned our existence into islands and cloisters and hollows. I am currently rereading Hyde's The Gift and Trickster Makes This World and enjoying them as much as I did the first few times around.

Immerse yourself in Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, also the writings of Barry Lopez and Terry Tempest Williams. Leaf through Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard. If you can find a copy in your local library or online, read Hestia Come Home, by Jerrilee Cain. One of these mornings, there will be a reading list of such works here - perhaps even several, Such is the lot of one who spends much of her time with her nose firmly planted in volumes and tomes and folios, when she is not knee deep in the veggie patch, that is. Perhaps I can drag a chair out to the garden and read aloud to the Romas and leeks and kale, the roses and herbs?

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, a bone-deep ethic of universal stewardship. We walk through this world rooted and knowing our places in it as the good stewards, artists and creators we were meant to be. The writers mentioned here today say it much better than I ever could.

We need to be kinder to each other. We need to tread lightly on the earth. We need to whittle down our demands on a world strained almost beyond its regenerative powers by excess, greed and contempt. Something's gotta give.

Why are there so few words in the English language for "read" and "reading"? It's a sin and a tragedy and a crying shame that bookish pursuits are so shabbily treated. 

1 comment:

Mystic Meandering said...

Oh - yes - we are all so weary of the protocols of COVID that we've had to live under. And yet when we don't live mindfully for the commonwealth, the common good, the numbers rise again - COVID rises again - as it is again in the U.S. because they have ended the mask mandates. And evidently people don't know how to use common sense, to be thoughtful and respectful to one another, as you say "kinder" to one another in following common sense for the common good. IMHO :)