Restlessness and vague desire-- what does that mean? I know what it looks like, but what does it mean for me, for the day-to-day? Sometimes I catch myself twisting my face into contortions, grimaces, and I don't realize how awful I was feeling until that moment, until a co-worker catches my eye and worriedly asks if I am "okay." And when I respond with "No" and am regarded with a quizzical glance, I don't know how to complete the thought and provide a reason. I am a fragment, or a misplaced modifier-- something grammatically incorrect and incoherent.
I was reading an article today, "40 Words for Emotions You've Felt But Couldn't Explain," and while I still don't have a non-vague vocabulary to capture the scatterplot of twitches in my brain and heart, there were at least a few words and definitions that resonated.
Avenoir (n)-- the desire that memory could flow backward. We take it for granted that life moves forward. But you move as a rower moves, facing backwards: you can see where you’ve been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way…
Monachopsis (n)-- the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.
Fitzcarraldo (n)-- an image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain—maybe washed there by a dream, or smuggled inside a book, or planted during a casual conversation—which then grows into a wild and impractical vision that keeps scrambling back and forth in your head like a dog stuck in a car that’s about to arrive home, just itching for a chance to leap headlong into reality.
Rigor Samsa (n)--. a kind of psychological exoskeleton that can protect you from pain and contain your anxieties, but always ends up cracking under pressure or hollowed out by time—and will keep growing back again and again, until you develop a more sophisticated emotional structure, held up by a strong and flexible spine, built less like a fortress than a cluster of treehouses.