And the First shall be Last, and Last shall be First. At last we are approaching the first of a new alphabet challenge – But first, the word
zenosyne – The sense that time keeps going faster. .Coined in 2012 by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, https://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/ a project to create a compendium of invented words for every emotion we might all experience but don’t yet have a word for. And Keta – an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past. Koinophobhia – the fear that one may have lived an ordinary life. Wytai – feature(s) of modern life that one may consider absurd, like zoos, drinking milk, or organ transplants.
Morii is the desire to capture a fleeing experience, something we try to do incessantly every waking minute of our lives these days, with Instagram stories, photographs, and snaps. Lacheism is a longing for clarity of a disaster or apocalypse. Lilo is a friendship that can lie dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since you last saw each other. Astrophe – the feeling of being stuck on earth when there is an entire universe or beyond to explore. Modus tollens – is the feeling that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense any more.
Onism is the realization of how little of the world you will experience. Socha is the hidden vulnerability of others. Lutalica is the part of your personality that doesn’t fit into categories. Vemödalen is the fear that everything has already been done, and Avenoir is the desire to see memories in advance.
We take it for granted that life moves forward. But you move as a rower moves – facing backward. You can see where you’ve been, but not where you are going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It is hard not to wonder what life would be like, facing the other way.
Klexos is the art of dwelling on the past. Your life is written in indelible ink. There’s no going back to erase the past, tweak the mistakes, or fill in the missed opportunities. When the moment’s over, your fate is sealed.
Xeno is the smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers—a flirtatious glance, a sympathetic nod, a shared laugh about some odd coincidence—moments that are fleeting and random but still contain powerful emotional nutrients that can alleviate the symptoms of feeling alone.
Mahpiohanzia is the disappointment of being unable to fly. Being unable to stretch out your arms and vault into the air, having finally shrugged off the ballast of your own weight and ignited the fuel tank of unfulfilled desires you’ve been storing up since before you were born.
Trumspringa is the temptation to step off your career track and become a shepherd in the mountains, following your flock between pastures with a sheepdog and a rifle, watching storms at dusk from the doorway of a small cabin, just the kind of hypnotic diversion that allows your thoughts to make a break for it and wander back to their cubicles in the city.
Kairosclerosis is the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.
Sonder – the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as yours
Opia – The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
Monachopsis – The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
Kenopsia – The forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people, but is now abandoned.
Mauerbauer-Traurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends that you like.
Énouement – The bitter-sweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
Vellichor – The strange wistfulness of used-book shops.
Anticipointment – The sinking feeling when anticipation fails to be the greater part of pleasure.
Jouska – A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
This man obviously had way too much time, sitting by himself in the attic. I don’t know whether he should have taken more drugs – or less. At least he got an entire book out of it – portions of which I have
stolen researched, and used for free, for this post.
The same old alphabet begins with brand-new words in a couple of weeks. This year, C may be for Compulsive.