Have You Heard of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows?

I stumbled across The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows on Facebook, and it fascinates me! To quote from the Facebook page, “Each definition is original and handcrafted by John Koenig with his right thumb.”

I’ve chosen a few from the really long list that really rang true for me.

This one practically hit me in the face!

Zielschmerz n. the exhilarating dread of finally pursuing a lifelong dream, which requires you to put your true abilities out there to be tested on the open savannah, no longer protected inside the terrarium of hopes and delusions that you created in kindergarten and kept sealed as long as you could, only to break in case of emergency.

This first one just screams HIGHSCHOOL! 😀

ecstatic shock n. the surge of energy upon catching a glance from someone you like—a thrill that starts in your stomach, arcs up through your lungs and flashes into a spontaneous smile—which scrambles your ungrounded circuits and tempts you to chase that feeling with a kite and a key.

I have felt this feeling before! It almost makes me not want to photograph well known landmarks because I know I’m not going to see it any differently to others, except the most amazing togs!

vemödalen n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.

I think I have felt “rückkehrunruhe” after every holiday I have ever taken…

Rückkehrunruhe n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness—to the extent you have to keep reminding yourself that it happened at all, even though it felt so vivid just days ago—which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut.

The word “silience” really hit home… I feel like it has become more and more applicable with the abundance of ridiculousness on the internet:

silience n. the kind of unnoticed excellence that carries on around you every day, unremarkably—the hidden talents of friends and coworkers, the fleeting solos of subway buskers, the slapdash eloquence of anonymous users, the unseen portfolios of aspiring artists—which would be renowned as masterpieces if only they’d been appraised by the cartel of popular taste, who assume that brilliance is a rare and precious quality, accidentally overlooking buried jewels that may not be flawless but are still somehow perfect.

So many times with this one, “keyframe”. So very many times… When someone didn’t answer their phone, when I decided to go home via a different route, when I decided to stay home rather than go to work.

keyframe n. a moment that seemed innocuous at the time but ended up marking a diversion into a strange new era of your life—set in motion not by a series of jolting epiphanies but by tiny imperceptible differences between one ordinary day and the next, until entire years of your memory can be compressed into a handful of indelible images—which prevents you from rewinding the past, but allows you to move forward without endless buffering.

I think “kuebiko” is something we’ve all felt, in varying degrees of severity…

kuebiko n. a state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence, which force you to revise your image of what can happen in this world—mending the fences of your expectations, weeding out all unwelcome and invasive truths, cultivating the perennial good that’s buried under the surface, and propping yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams but powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.

I think this one is aggravated by spending too much time on social media!

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.

This one… But I think it’s ‘coz I am developing high blood pressure where mine has always been low. 😀

rubatosis n. the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat, whose tenuous muscular throbbing feels less like a metronome than a nervous ditty your heart is tapping to itself, the kind that people compulsively hum or sing while walking in complete darkness, as if to casually remind the outside world, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.

I think “sonder” is my favourite. I love to watch people, to imagine their stories, and this explains it so nicely.

sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

I do this ALL the time! With acompanying facial expressions!

jouska n. a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.

And THIS is what happened to my blogging! Tilt shift!

the tilt shift n. a phenomenon in which your lived experience seems oddly inconsequential once you put it down on paper, which turns an epic tragicomedy into a sequence of figures on a model train set, assembled in their tiny classrooms and workplaces, wandering along their own cautious and well-trodden paths—peaceable, generic and out of focus.

About Angel

Wife, mom, cake artist, Guide Dog puppy raiser, ADHD champion, wedding planner, and tattooed cat slave.
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3 Responses to Have You Heard of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows?

  1. These are fantastic! I really like “silience” en am totally love “sonder”.
    cat@jugglingact recently posted…Fourth term silly seasonMy Profile

  2. MeeA says:

    I can relate to most of these…
    MeeA recently posted…The Things in My HeadMy Profile