“I wish I were a poet. I’ve never confessed that to anyone, and I’m confessing it to you, because you’ve given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I’ve spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind’s eye. It’s been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I’ve been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers. But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, ‘Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open.’ I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we’ll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What’s real? What isn’t real? Maybe those aren’t the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on.”—Jonathan Safran Foer (via black-wolves)
Ailurophile A cat-lover. Assemblage A gathering. Becoming Attractive. Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks. Brood To think alone. Bucolic In a lovely rural setting. Bungalow A small, cozy cottage. Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye. Comely Attractive. Conflate To blend together. Cynosure A focal point of admiration. Dalliance A brief love affair. Demesne Dominion, territory. Demure Shy and reserved. Denouement The resolution of a mystery. Desuetude Disuse. Desultory Slow, sluggish. Diaphanous Filmy. Dissemble Deceive. Dulcet Sweet, sugary. Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm. Effervescent Bubbly. Efflorescence Flowering, blooming. Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word. Elixir A good potion. Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech. Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion. Emollient A softener. Ephemeral Short-lived. Epiphany A sudden revelation. Erstwhile At one time, for a time. Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable. Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time. Evocative Suggestive. Fetching Pretty. Felicity Pleasantness. Forbearance Withholding response to provocation. Fugacious Fleeting. Furtive Shifty, sneaky. Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully. Glamour Beauty. Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk. Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free. Harbinger Messenger with news of the future. Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern. Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation. Imbue To infuse, instill. Incipient Beginning, in an early stage. Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible. Ingénue A naïve young woman. Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth. Insouciance Blithe nonchalance. Inure To become jaded. Labyrinthine Twisting and turning. Lagniappe A special kind of gift. Lagoon A small gulf or inlet. Languor Listlessness, inactivity. Lassitude Weariness, listlessness. Leisure Free time. Lilt To move musically or lively. Lissome Slender and graceful. Lithe Slender and flexible. Love Deep affection. Mellifluous Sweet sounding. Moiety One of two equal parts. Mondegreen A slip of the ear. Murmurous Murmuring. Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy. Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore. Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning. Opulent Lush, luxuriant. Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones. Panacea A solution for all problems Panoply A complete set. Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources. Penumbra A half-shadow. Petrichor The smell of earth after rain. Plethora A large quantity. Propinquity An inclination. Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses. Quintessential Most essential. Ratatouille A spicy French stew. Ravel To knit or unknit. Redolent Fragrant. Riparian By the bank of a stream. Ripple A very small wave. Scintilla A spark or very small thing. Sempiternal Eternal. Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem. Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else. Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny. Sumptuous Lush, luxurious. Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky. Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania. Susurrous Whispering, hissing. Talisman A good luck charm. Tintinnabulation Tinkling. Umbrella Protection from sun or rain. Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate. Vestigial In trace amounts. Wafture Waving. Wherewithal The means. Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.