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Monday Musings and Motivations – Part Fifty-Seven – Grace

As I’m valiantly trying to get back into the rhythm of regular blogging, I thought I’d give the open, ruffle and point method a shot for inspiration.

I have The Random House Thesaurus College Edition on my bookshelf. Archaic, huh?

In the olden days people used this to look up words that mean the same things as other words. No clicking or scrolling involved.

In the olden days people used this to look up words that mean the same things as other words. No clicking or scrolling involved.

I know, Google can give me a thesaurus anytime I want. But since, I’ve carted this big lug of a book around with me for decades, I thought I’d blow the dust off of it and use it. An old school tactile kind of method. Brilliant minds before me have used this method I’m sure.

I shall take this finger, ruffle through the scholarly pages and rock tablets, and point to inspire me to write about philosophical musings in regards to ethics, politics, metaphysics, epistemology, spirituality, and other stuff.

Plato: “I shall take this finger, ruffle through scholarly pages and rock tablets, and point to inspire me to write about philosophical musings in regards to ethics, politics, metaphysics, epistemology, spirituality, and other stuff.”

Here’s how it went. I’m writing it in present tense to put you right there with me. Lucky you!

Good juju vibes usually manifest themselves through hands.

Good juju vibes usually manifest themselves through hands.

I place the thesaurus on my desk and put both hands on top of it for a moment to let the good ju-ju vibes soak in and allow the muses to direct me toward the word I’m supposed to get inspiration from.

I lift my head heavenward and close my eyes. I open the book with my left hand and grasp the whole of it—the guts of the book—four fingers on the front, thumb on the back. My left thumb lets the pages go and the pages ruffle, making a thirrr-rrr sound, like a whispery, muffled voice. A slight breeze flows over my right hand. I repeat the process once more.

Calliope is purported to be the chief of all muses, the Mother Muse, the Mama Jama Muse, the It girl of Muses. It’s said she inspired Homer, Dante, and some poets. Oh Calliope that you may inspire me!

Calliope is purported to be the chief of all muses, the Mother Muse, the Mamma Jamma Muse, the It girl of Muses. It’s said she inspired Homer, Dante, and some poets. Oh Calliope that you may inspire me!

Finally, I open the book. I point with my right index finger. I lower my head, open my eyes and see this:

Really Muse? I don’t exactly associate myself with that word.

Really Muse? I don’t exactly associate myself with that word.

When I think of grace, I think smooth, pleasant, and skillful in social situations. Grace is quiet and elegant, sure, serene and always smiling. Grace is lissome and tall with a long neck, ballerina-like movements, and flawless skin. I think of myself as the antithesis of grace, Grace’s black sheep of the family stepsister.

Perception Begins at a Young Age

It could be that I’ve been thinking of this grace thing all wrong. Perhaps I’m just not the average definition of the word, grace. The one that most perceive as grace or graceful.

When I was in the fourth grade, the entire class was lined up against the wall having an impromptu spelling bee. I was a spelling nerd. When it wasn’t my turn, I’d fidget. This particular day I had on brand new white boots. They were slick soled. My feet flew out from beneath me and I landed with a hard thud on the floor. Everyone, including the teacher (who really shouldn’t have been teaching children) turned and looked at me. The flame of embarrassment crept up from inside those boots all the way up to my freckled face. The teacher gave me the most hateful hairy eyeball and didn’t say a word. The class snickered. She looked back at the student who had been spelling. She acted as if I wasn’t there, as if I didn’t matter.

Now I could have cried or thrown a tantrum. Instead I rose to my feet, stuck out my chin and pushed up my glasses. I blinked a lot to keep the tears at bay. That’s a kind of grace, right? Rising above it all, as it were.

There’s been several other instances when grace was elusive in my life. Getting up in front of a group and trying to make a speech while what I really wanted to do was hurl into a paper bag. Instead, I got through it and got on with it.

Perhaps grace is just that—rising above fears, embarrassments and other life hurdles with the most dignity you can muster. Maybe grace is letting go of things that don’t serve you despite how scary or uncomfortable it may be and embracing the unknown with open and sometimes clumsy arms.

If that’s the case, I think I got it down. And I think I’ll end this post now while I’m hopefully still in your good graces.

Happy Monday everyone and I hope as you move through your week you do so with your own unique sense of grace.

***

How do you get inspiration? Do you have you own method(s)? How do you define grace?

References:
Calliope, PlatoGood juju

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

26 thoughts on “Monday Musings and Motivations – Part Fifty-Seven – Grace

  1. I love the word grace–in fact one year my resolution was to follow in the footsteps of all things grace. Like me, you have had a somewhat storied acceptance of grace, but when I think of you Brigitte, first and foremost, grace comes to mind. I find it incongruent that you feel a stranger to something that comes so naturally to you.
    I love your definition of grace in the embodiment of a 4th grade girl–it is the best definition anyone could come up with…..
    My Thesaurus(s) or (es)–both online and in book form is/are one of my favourite objects……A friend of mine gave me
    The Thinker’s Thesaurus and I was extremely happy and complimented–never mind that I do not quite understand it (lol).

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | January 11, 2016, 11:26 am
    • Lou, I’m flattered that you think that of me. What a nice thing to say, thank you!

      You have a very real sense of grace yourself. The way you express yourself with your poems and prose reflect it.

      What writer doesn’t love a thesaurus? All those lovely words! I’ve not heard of The Thinkers Thesaurus but now I want one. And I’m confident you’ll figure it out in no time.

      So great to see your graceful presence here. 😊

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 11, 2016, 11:36 am
  2. I would say you are the one who acted with grace. Your teacher, on the other hand, did not. She sounds like she was a ball of laughs. Not.

    And I would definitely associate the word ‘grace’ with you, Brigitte. I bet all your readers would!

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | January 11, 2016, 11:54 am
    • Hey Carrie. There are some people who really shouldn’t be teachers or maybe she was having a bad day. It’s strange the memories that stick, huh?

      And that’s very nice of you to say. I’d say all my readers, you included, are a wonderful group of gracious people. Maybe that’s why we all gravitate toward each other’s places. 😄

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 11, 2016, 12:09 pm
  3. I concur with my fellow commenters here, Ms B. You are the embodiment of grace. I think inner grace is much more powerful than the on the surface kind. Blushing freckles and all

    Mamma Jamma Muse– could she make some house calls , please? I shall take this finger…ha, you crack me up. By the way, I have a very well loved, well used, tattered Thesaurus which has been with me forever– that and my dictionary. I’m a very tactile person. You can stumble on so much more that way, agree? Great to see Mknday Musings back! High five, my friend.

    Posted by UpChuckingwords | January 11, 2016, 1:17 pm
    • Right back at you my friend. And as clumsy as I am on the outside I am graceful as a ballerina in my mind so I’m thinking that counts for something. I see pics of me as a child and my sprinkling of freckles across my nose were cute. I don’t know why I hated them so much. Ah, that we knew then what we know now. But I guess that then we wouldn’t have all those experiences. I’m rambling.

      And yes, I still love using my books and holding them. I don’t like reading from the electronic devices. I don’t know why. Thank you for stopping in. You are a lovely, talented and most gracious poet. I’ll send Calliope your way, home girl.

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 11, 2016, 2:26 pm
  4. My inspiration comes from when I read a blog like yours and then look off into space, Brigitte, to contemplate what I have just read, thought, or saw. Right now, grace is slipping through my fingers like sand, but if I pinch just a little, she’ll stop and look up at me, surprised that I have caught her on the run. Then she’ll become illusive. “You may think you have me…” ands poof, she’s gone. –Curt

    Posted by Curt Mekemson | January 11, 2016, 5:40 pm
    • Well that’s a nice thing to say, thank you. I hope I inspire every once in awhile. I know I get the same from bloggers, such as yourself as well. Your travels alone are inspiring! I doubt you have problems with grace, Curt. You always display it here at my place. And I guessing Peggy wouldn’t have it any other way. ;). >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 11, 2016, 5:58 pm
  5. Grace to me is one of those things that’s all sorts of intangible but you can feel it instantly in someone’s attitude. Like so many have said before me, you embody grace just purely from the words you write and how you interact with your fellow bloggers.
    My image of grace is similar to yours but slowly, I’m starting to see how it’s as much about the internal than the external. Someone might look graceful but it’s really how they deal with not-so-graceful situations that ultimately proves whether or not they’re graceful, I think. As always, so much food for thought here and I’m glad you’re testing out the waters of regular blogging again. 🙂

    Posted by lillianccc | January 11, 2016, 10:20 pm
    • You are right about that Lillian. You can feel it. And thank you for saying that! How graceful and nice all of you are. I do understand about the internal but there was a part of me that wished I had that other kind of “grace” that you’ve seen people possess. The sureness, elegance of movement if that makes sense. I agree with you and as I’ve always said you are just one of those people who are wise beyond their years. And yes, grace is most certainly a part of the Lillian package. Great to see you! >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 12, 2016, 8:55 am
  6. Happy graceful Monday, Brigitte. I think you’ve captured grace quite well. I always say I try to give myself grace when I write. I accept what ever it is I wrote, good times and bad. Have a great week!!

    Posted by Amy Reese | January 12, 2016, 2:08 am
    • Hey Amy! Why thank you and right back at you. I think you do an outstanding job of allowing grace to be a part of your fiction, your words, and your musings. And accepting both the bad and good is part of being exactly what I’m referring to. You have a wonderful week as well, Amy. >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 12, 2016, 8:56 am
  7. Great post. I like the way you expanded one’s thought of grace beyond the lady in the beautiful flowing dress as she glides around the dance floor to a glorious waltz. I like :rising above fears, embarrassments and other life hurdles with the most dignity you can muster. Maybe grace is letting go of things that don’t serve you despite how scary or uncomfortable it may be and embracing the unknown with open and sometimes clumsy arms.” … In terms for inspiration – for me, it’s inner driven – self driven – usually more calculated (as opposed to how you started with the random selection of a word).

    Posted by aFrankAngle | January 12, 2016, 7:33 am
    • Hi Frank, thank you. I’m glad you understand what I was driving at. The random thing is sometimes the way in which I coax something out of hiding. I believe that inspiration comes from many sources and sometime those sources are seemingly “random.” But yes, it’s the inner that is the true measure of grace and it usually serves us well if we practice it, especially in times of turmoil.

      Try the random thing, you may like it—who knows? HA! So glad to see you here and thank you!

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 12, 2016, 9:00 am
  8. I can easily see “grace” applying to you Brigitte, especially in the easy flow and thoughtful nature of your blog posts. And rising above awkward situations and embarrassing moments certainly fits the definition in my book.

    Now, just for fun, I decided to try the same thing with my paperback thesaurus. My resulting word? Welcome. I like that one, too. 🙂

    Posted by jmmcdowell | January 12, 2016, 7:56 pm
    • Hey JM. Why thank you. This grace-inspired post certainly brought out the most graceful and grace-filled bloggers. 😊

      You should try it! Write a post around the word welcome! Maybe we could try this on a regular basis. Had my finger landed on the opposite page, the word might have been gorge. I could have easily applied that to my eating habits during the holidays.

      Welcome fits your blog perfectly my friend.

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | January 12, 2016, 8:04 pm

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harmony
noun har·mo·ny \ˈhär-mə-nē\

the combination of simultaneous musical notes in a chord

the structure of music with respect to the composition and progression of chords

the science of the structure, relation, and progression of chords

pleasing arrangement of parts : congruence

agreement, accord

internal calm : tranquility

an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative

a systematic arrangement of parallel literary passages (as of the Gospels) for the purpose of showing agreement or harmony

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