One of my favorite songs is Kate Bush’s 50 Words for Snow – basically a list in song. And posted on my wall I have a list, cut out from a newspaper long ago, of 100 words for precipitation. I like lists. Perhaps I learned list love (or list lust) from my mom, Eleanor, who always kept a small clipboard of used envelopes, plain white backside facing up, on which she kept lists – of groceries needed, gift ideas, jobs for me and my brothers and sisters (with a separate list of jobs for my Dad,) menus, even a list of 22 years of thanksgiving turkey sizes and who the guests were.
And at every resting place in the home where I live now, there are miscellaneous papers – large and small note pads, or used envelopes, or bits of paper torn from a magazine or newspaper, with lists. Paint colors, ceramic tools, or glazes I might like. Sketches of forms I’d like to try making in clay. Movies and books I’d like to borrow from the library. Gift ideas. Groceries and household items needed. Vegetables and flowers I’d like to try growing. Even on my phone, I have 52 different lists. My older sister beat me with 107! She also keeps a list of when packages are arriving. Another sister organizes her lists by different stores. And another keeps her lists on magnetic note pads posted on her refrigerator. Plus, they remembered my Mom’s mom, my Grandma Clara, keeping lists of birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, and graduations. As my youngest sister says, we’ve all inherited this blessing/curse, which can be invigorating and also an albatross. Of my three children, only one, a daughter, seems to have inherited the list gene, telling me that sometimes she makes lists just to have the satisfaction of checking things off when they’re done:) And she saves some of her lists to remember particular times in her life.
Playing off my lust for lists, I started a series of Word Orbs earlier this year, and the first is 100 Words for Rain.
I liked it so much that I wanted to make another, 100 Words for Snow. So back to Kate Bush’s song, but she only had 50 words for snow. And I found a Kate Bush Encyclopedia website, where it lists her 50 words, and realized a lot of them were made-up words, so I did my own online research on words for snow. And have done the same for all Word Orbs I create. I keep my lists of 100 Words on a computer spreadsheet, and include definitions for words I don’t know, just in case someone happens to inquire what a particular word means:)
The next two are also a pair. 100 Words for Man and 100 Words for Woman. This Word Orb series won’t always be pairs of orbs, but that’s the way I’ve started.
Of particular interest: as I reviewed the words for Man and Woman, there are 18 negative terms for Woman: biddy, bimbo, bitch, bridezilla, cunt, floozie, hag, harlot, harpy, hussy, shrew, slut, tramp, trollop, virago, wench, whore and witch. And only 7 for Man: bastard, brute, dick, lecher, lout, man slut, and pimp. And negative words are negative in my opinion – other words in my lists may connote negativity for other people. Anyway, something to ponder – why are there so many more negative terms for Woman?
I can’t post videos on this basic WordPress blog, but if you have access to Instagram or Facebook, I’ve posted short videos of these Orbs on both of those sites. I’ve got more Word Orbs in process. A perfect and satisfying way to fulfill my love of Lists and Art!