|Thirteen Things about MISS MELISS
The Letter O, Revisited
Sara challenged me to list ten things that begin with the letter ‘O’ that are relevant to me, but since I hadn’t come up with a Thursday 13 in a long while, I’m giving her thirteen. Readers of my previous thirteen o-things from last summer will be pleased to know there are no repeats.
1) Overture: Whether it’s in the musical sense, as the preface or introduction to a larger work, or the social sense, the conversational dance we do at the beginning of a friendship, I like overtures.
2) Oceanography: If I was more math-inclined, I’d have wanted to be either a marine biologist or oceanography.
3) Opening Night: Whether I’m going to the theater to perform or to watch, nothing beats the magic of Opening Night. The anticipation, the tension, the release at the end when a show has been successful. It’s all bundled into two or three hours.
4) Observation: There’s a reason Harriet the Spy was one of my favorite books as a child. I never carried a notebook full of my friends’ secret habits, but I do tend to observe people, situations, things, before jumping in. I think it’s the writer-part of my brain that does this, because I often feel like I’m watching and participating at once.
5) Ozone: The taste of it in the air, just before a storm, just after a lightning strike, is something I can’t resist. One of the reason’s last year’s BPAL offering, “Thunder Moon” is among my favorites is the ozone note.
6) Onions: I still remember looking at onion skin under microscopes at school when I was a kid. I love the way green onions smell the morning after a rain – my grandfather’s lawn was rife with green onions and lemon grass and spring mornings always smelled like an amazing salad. I prefer onion rings to fries, and I love the marinated red onions that The Good Earth used to put on their salads. I do not, however, like onion breath.
7) Onomatopoeia: How can you not love a word that refers to other words? Specifically, of course, it refers to words that sound like what they are (Snap! Bang! Splash!)
8) Old: As a society we’re conditioned to discard old things, and, to a degree, old people, but old things can also be valuable antiques, or family heirlooms, old books hold ideas that are still relevant, and old people are the keepers of our oral histories, and warmest memories.
9) Oral History: Storytelling isn’t just for weaving entertainment, it’s for passing down knowledge, information, shared memories, legends, lore, and myths. There are nuances in the spoken word that text simply cannot translate, cannot preserve.
10) “Once upon a time”: Quite possibly the most magical phrase in the English language.
11) Olivia: A good friend of our family, writer, piano teacher, surrogate grandmother. She’s crazy as a loon, but also incredibly intelligent, vibrant, and generous.
12) Orion: The first constellation I learned to name. I still gaze at the stars, when I have the time, and the skies are clear.
13) Orders: I have a footlocker that belonged to my grandfather when he was serving in the Army in WWII. On it, with a box drawn around them in white spray paint, remain his stenciled orders – the address of his unit at the time. The rest of the footlocker has been repainted many, many times.