Many days I find little inspiration in the daily word prompt. On occasion I have even had to give myself a symbolic dope slap for allowing resentment to creep into my struggling thought process when the word doesn’t turn me into an instant Hemingway or Emily Dickinson. (There have also been a few days lately when the prompt didn’t show up at 8 AM, which it is SUPPOSED TO, but that is probably a post for another day!) So imagine my happy surprise when today there are two words that I can use!
Generally when a word doesn’t immediately provoke a line of thought, or has numerous meanings, I go on-line and look at definitions to help light up enough brain cells so I can actually start writing. I had a pretty good idea about what “paragon” means. The first image that popped into my mind, however, was Paragon Park, a wonderland of rides, cotton candy, fried foods and carnival games that used to exist at Nantasket Beach. I got to go there a few times with my husband, who spent many summers at the beach as a youngster, and regaled me with verbal images that sounded a lot like Peter Pan describing Neverland. But by the time I got there it had become somewhat seedy and eventually fell to economic struggles and the influx of year-round condos and upscale establishments. It was definitely no longer a paragon of a park.
As for “total,” anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes in the company of several teenagers is totally familiar with that word, and probably wishes to never hear it spoken again. I can only wish it had totally gone the way of Paragon Park, totally.
Let’s return to definitions of paragon: Dictionary.com provided me with several options:
- a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence: a paragon of virtue.
- someone of exceptional merit;
- printing: a 20-point type
The first two definitions were familiar. While I consider myself a generally good person, smart enough to satisfactorily travel through life’s complexities, I honestly don’t think I rise to the level of excellence most of the time. Even if I did, my upbringing would come back to haunt me if I were brazen enough to sing my own praises to that lofty degree. Trying to apply concepts of excellence, merit and virtue to anything going on in the world these days would be a struggle that I just don’t feel up to at the moment. And writing about printing type would bore me to tears.
But wait, there’s another definition: 4.
Okay, now we’re talking. I’m large and round!! And I think I can accommodate my self-image enough to let in the image of a pearl. Not flashy like gold and silver bling, but elegant enough for special occasions. Something precious that grows inside a not-so-attractive shell. I can live with that.