I have favorite words. I keep a list of them in my mind. Words that I’m eager to see out in the real world. Then when I come across one, I am overjoyed. I’m sort of like a birder who is traipsing across the American Southwest and comes across their first elf owl. They stand in awe of the world’s smallest owl, burrowed deep in a woodpecker’s saguaro hole. The birder might snap a picture, they might just look from a safe distance, their necks craned, their binoculars on high. That’s how I feel when I read someone else’s work, and one of my words pops up. Magic.
Yesterday I was thumbing through the newest Pushcart, an assignment for school, and I decided on an essay to read. Three paragraphs in was the word, tintinnabulation. Sweet Jesus, I could hear the tinkling when I saw the word! There it was, in all its glory! I wanted to snap a picture. I wanted to run downstairs and show Jerimiah. Then it hit me. I was forced to face my own nerdy ways. I’m a mess, a nerdy mess. So instead I read the paragraph over and over again until the ringing stopped.