Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Meme in Q

Tom Paine, 270 year old poly-wannabe over at Polyamorously Perverse, has hit me with the meme for

Ten things that begin with Q (and when I follow his meme assignment, I find it is Ten things I love that begin with Q)

Q?!? I said. Then I remembered they don't all have to be words that will fit the letters I've drawn in Scrabble. Of course I can think of things I don't like that begin with Q: quizzes (most of the time); quagmires (especially the ones the dynasty heading our country gets us into); quakes (well, bad ones...I did like the ones I've experienced here in Oregon); quarantines; quarrels; quibbles, quicksand.

1. Quintessence: The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing. I admit, the first word that popped into my head was quintessential. When answers.com steered me to quintessence, I knew I wanted the noun. I wonder how the hot new game 20Q (based on an old game of wits) would do with that one. It is the fifth essence, the spiritual underpinnings of the four ancient elements earth, air, fire, and water. It resurfaces as a word in physics, the hypothetical dark energy that could explain the observations of an accelerating universe. Do you think instead of God, we could start saying "quintessence?" The quintessence of life is love, I say.

2. Quips: Where are they when you need them? I enjoy a witty remark. I just rarely have them ready when the moment calls for one. I'm not so fond of the sarcastic family of quips, just the quick witted funny remarks.

(about time I got going with this, holidays are over, no more excuses...I admit I'm cheating some, couldn't think of these just by mulling...I need reminders...so I turned to my handy Google searching.)

3. Quest: When I escaped Wisconsin and began attending college, I started realizing I didn't know who I was, really. Where did my own opinions come from? What opinions were my own, really? I remember saying to someone during those years that I'd realized I was on a quest to understand human nature. St. John's College does that to you, thankfully. I'm still on that quest. I understand a lot more about myself and others than I did then. People tell me I do pretty well with that, and I do trust my understanding. Still though, people are mysterious. Even while I might think I know motives, or could predict responses, the complexity will always be a surprise. So, the quest continues with the knowledge that experiencing human nature unfolds every moment, there is always some new discovery, and the key to getting to the heart of a person is loving action.

4. Quakes: As mentioned above, I don't like the bad ones. But so far I've experienced mild ones here in Oregon and they were fun, nobody killed. First, early 90s, felt like a rolling ship under me. Second, late 90s? I was working in the library and was embarrassed to think my chair was breaking under me. No, only a quake rolling the earth under me. Third, more recently, a big loud bang, like some giant clapped his hand down on our roof. I immediately checked the web at Steve's suggestion and found the epicenter was near Battleground, Washington. Fourth, like a big truck rumbling by, the slight shaking of the building that comes with that, epicenter close to Longview, Washington. With all, nary a picture fell off the wall. I'd heard I lived right along a fault on 21st Ave, but I can't tell from this map which one it is. Every once in a while we have to do an earthquake drill at work. I find these amusing, as every earthquake I've experienced has been shorter than the time it took for me to realize it was an earthquake. I imagine even the bigger ones will not give me the time to find that safe spot (which keeps changing. Doorways...yes, no. Desks...yes, no. Walls...yes, no. I think I'll just "duck and cover").

5. Quarks: Especially the charming and strange ones. I think. At this point my knowledge of them is purely a concept.

6. Quasars: Hmmm. I think Q brings out the science geek in me. Third science word in a row. Follow that link for cool geeky info on quasars.

7. Queer: Not a science word, a label, and a label that has been taken back proudly. I'm not very queer, sorta queer, would glad to be considered more in the queer camp than not.

(oh, I'm getting so close, but tired of sitting here cogitating. Damn you Thomas Paine. These are the times that try men's souls.) Ah yes, I had this one in mind, but forgot I had it in mind...the fuzzy-headed holidays intervened:

8. Questions: I learned early in my study of peaceful conflict management years ago that often people take questions as accusations, or as aggression. Too many questions make people think you're grilling them. I learned it is OK to ask questions, but to be keep a compassionate connection, keep the inflection low like a statement, rather than raise it up for a question. It's good to question. Question authority. Question habituated notions of self. It takes skill to ask questions, and to receive them gracefully. I welcome questions. I will often answer them even if uncomfortable. I tend to forget I don't have to answer every question posed to me.

9. qwerty: I like that the order of the letters became a word, first qwerty keyboard, now qwerty. I depend on qwerty, I never look at the keyboard to type.

OK, I quit. I've failed. I give up. No more memes please! I'm sorry I hit you with that one! I'm not sending this one on to anyone else...it's too much like a quiz.