Friday, August 18, 2023

Friday Ramble - Consider

This week's word is one of my favorite words in the whole English lexicon, in part because of the notions of careful thought, deliberation and balance enfolded in it, but mostly because of its splendid celestial origins.

Think Vincent Van Gogh and his gorgeous "Starry Starry Night". Consider hails from around 1350 CE, tracing its origins through the Middle English consideren and the Latin considerare, both meaning "in the company of the stars", thence the Latin sidus/sideris meaning a star or cluster of stars. At the beginning of it all is the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root form *sweid meaning to shine. Other English words like constellation and sidereal are kin, the first describing a group of stars, and the latter meaning simply "starry" and by extension, celestial or heavenly.

Small wonder that we are given to considering, at least in the original sense of the word. Forged from the dust of ancient stars, we are probably never more true to ourselves or more in tune with our fundamental natures and inner light than when we are engaging in the liminal act of considering something. In doing so, we move away from the mundane and profane and intuitively toward a bone deep and authentic connection with the cosmic dimension from which we emerged, and of which we are such miniscule components. Dancing motes in the eye of the infinite are we.

It's one thing to consider one's origins on a cold clear night when she can almost reach up and touch the moon and stars. It's another thing entirely to do so in late summer or early autumn when the sky is filled with clouds from here to there, and she can hardly see hand or lens, let alone sunlight, moonlight or stars. Who doesn't love a good haze or fog though, and days and nights on the cusp of the seasons dish up some splendid, atmospheric murks. It is important to remember that even when we can't see them, our starry kin are right up there over our heads and shining down on us. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote:

"We find lingering evidence of archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. It would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling in the company of the stars."

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